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Studio Arena Theatre Unveils Collabortion with Shea's and Buffalo State, Will File for Bankruptcy

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The Studio Arena Theater will remain open. But the financially-struggling theater is filing for bankruptcy protection and will reorganize as a smaller professional production company.

After more than a week of silence, Studio Arena officials finally addressed the theater's precarious financial situation at a news conference Monday afternoon. Speculation had been swirling, some of it that Studio Arena would close. But Board President Daniel Dintino and Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Gaffney are now saying they don't expect that to happen. Plans were announced for a collaboration with the Shea's Performing Arts Center and Buffalo State.

Dintino says the bankruptcy filing will help the theater erase a debt that now totals just under $3 million.

Under the proposed new business model, Shea's would operate the theater by bringing in shows, including two to three a year that would be produced by Studio Arena.

Buffalo State would work with Studio Arena in producing shows.

For now, Studio Arena has canceled the last two shows of its current season, "The Vertical Hour" and "Side by Side by Sondheim." Ticketholders will not be offered cash refunds. But arrangements are being made for their tickets to be honored by other theatre companies. Kavinoky Theatre has already agreed to participate.