Center Theatre Group lays off more than half of its staff amid pandemic

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The Mark Taper Forum, one of Center Theatre Group’s three venues to go dark during the pandemic, is shown in an undated photo.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

The Mark Taper Forum, one of Center Theatre Group’s three venues to go dark during the pandemic, is shown in an undated photo.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Less than three months after announcing its stages would have to remain dark through April, Center Theatre Group confirmed Friday that COVID-19 closures have forced the company to lay off 91 previously furloughed employees, a mix of full- and part-timers who account for 53% of its workforce.

The layoffs take effect at the end of September and hit hardest the marketing and sales teams of CTG, the largest and most prestigious nonprofit theater company in the region. The number cited Friday does not account for the artists, actors, designers and stage workers sidelined by productions that have been delayed or canceled, the company said.

“We remain steadfast in our efforts to resume productions as soon as it is safe and financially viable to do so. While there has been no one specific change to our future plans that leads to this decision, we no longer felt it reasonable or responsible to keep our furloughed staff waiting in limbo any longer,” Artistic Director Michael Ritchie and Managing Director Meghan Pressman said in a joint statement released to The Times. “We had hoped to have more clarity by now, but that clarity simply hasn’t come soon enough.”

The company had previously said the unprecedented closure of its three stages — the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum in downtown L.A. and the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City — would result in an estimated $40 million of lost revenue.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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