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Studio Arena Cuts Staff

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – It was only a year ago when Studio Arena slashed 15 positions trying to halt its fiscal bleeding. But facing a four million dollar deficit and no money to finish the season, the theatre has even let go more of its bare-bones staff.

The lay-offs were confirmed Thursday by Production Manager Iian Campbell. However, he could not say how many or whom. He said the staff have been directed by the board of directors to offer "no comment."

Campbell said they expect to release a press statement with more details, possibly Friday.

Meanwhile, other last ditch efforts continue. Sheas Performing Arts Center President Anthony Conte said they are still negotiating a collaboration that might help the theatre restructure back office operatiions and stay afloat. But he said that also would take money to get up and running.

Right now, Conte said it is crucial that the community not let the bleak financial news keep them from attending what could well be Studio Arena's last production.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" continues through February 24. Beyond that, Conte said, even with the Herculean efforts, the prognosis is not good. And Conte said the loss of Buffalo's flagship theatre will be a loss for everyone.

However, critics of Studio Arena's troubled management history argue that the theatre is no longer sustainable. Even one leading charitable group, the Wendt Foundation, said that it does not see any way to help them.

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