Another DC area theatre company has disbanded. Firebelly Productions, which operated out of Theatre on the Run in Arlington, VA has closed, with their Producer and Managing Director, Barbara Walthall, and Artistic Director Kathi Gollwitzer citing “a shift in personal priorities, difficult economic times, and personal commitments.”
Firebelly Productions, whose mission was to help young performers gain professional experience, had been operating in Arlington County for 8 years. DCTS started covering Firebelly in 2006, with their production of Proof, which featured Daniel Eichner as Hal, and continued through their last production of Hamlet, the innovative take on the classic by young director Michael Ryan Fernandez which drew record attendance and closed in August, 2009.
When funders warned of severe cutbacks in 2009, Firebelly went on hiatus, with the intent of renewing productions in July 2010.
“I am satisfied with [our] many fine accomplishments–our tour to Prague, Hong Kong, awards, strong reviews, growth in our audience, and professional growth of the actor and technicians — that has proved that our instincts and motivations were correct. I don’t regret one moment of our work as Firebelly,” says Kathi Gollwitzer.
“We are privileged to have helped many young artists gain professional experience with our company that has helped them move ahead in their professional careers. We truly gave everything we could to help them realize their goals, and hope they, in turn, give back to others in their professional lives,” she continued.
To which, the always wise Barbara Walthall added “I often tell my children that, as an adult, you must recognize when your priorities change, and then change your life to meet those new priorities. Now I must show them that I do what I say, with grace, I hope.”