Vpstart Crow, the Manassas-based theater troupe which had combined Shakespearean productions with modern classics, is no more.
“This company has been a huge part of our family for many years,” Board President Cory Okouchi said in a statement released yesterday. “It was a very difficult decision to let it go, but the waning community support over the last several years has made it impossible to continue.”
The decision to close means that planned productions of A Christmas Carol, Doubt, and Much Ado About Nothing will not go on. The company had also planned a two-day showing of Unexpected Broadway this weekend, but cancelled it while “taking a brief sabbatical to welcome our new board members and to restructure the organization to take full advantage of our new strengths.”
Financial problems appear to have contributed to Vpstart Crow’s decision to close. On its Facebook page, the company notes that “we are unable to pay some outstanding debts as the bank requires their share of what is owed” and asks supporters to make a tax-deductible contribution, using the PayPal link on the on its page.
Timothy Shaw and Joyce Peifer founded Vpstart Crow in 1993, and for many years the company produced at the Cramer Center, a restored church in Old Manassas. More recently, however, the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the campus of George Mason University.
“We are sorry to see the end of the journey for Vpstart Crow, but we understand and support the Board’s action,” said Rick Davis, Executive Director of the Hylton Center. “The company has been an important element in the arts landscape of this region for a long time and we have very much enjoyed our partnership and the good work presented by Vpstart at the Hylton. Around the country, the last several years have been very difficult for theater companies, with many smaller groups, and some large ones, making this same difficult decision.”