Quotidian Theatre, the Bethesda-based company which specialized in the work of Horton Foote and, to a lesser extent, Conor McPherson, will close its doors for good after a production of Foote’s The Day Emily Married, “most likely” next spring.
The company will not mount its previously-scheduled performance of Ibsen’s Ghosts, which had been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The end comes for Quotidian after 23 years, 57 productions and 915 performances.
“During those 23 years, we have achieved much – though certainly not all – of what we set out to do, and have had a great deal of satisfaction in doing it,” including advancing “our vision that theater doesn’t have to be over-the-top to be dramatic, that the dramas of everyday life – quotidian life – are capable of holding their own on any stage,” Steve LaRocque wrote on behalf of Quotidian Theatre.
The company noted that it had suffered financial reverses in its 2019 season, when it had been able to mount only two productions because of renovations being done to its home in the Bethesda Writer’s Center on Walsh Street. The Covid-shortened 2020 season caused additional financial woes.
Nevertheless, “Underneath all of this, working away is the toll that time exacts on the human energy that is so indispensable to theater,” Quotidian wrote.
“Behind every performance – the ‘two hours’ traffic of our stage’ – lie weeks of rehearsals, months of planning, and, in many cases, years of burning desire to put that particular piece in front of an audience. That desire never really goes away. We would love to have done one more season, one more production, one more performance. That’s how it always is if you love theater – and we do. But we have taken stock, and have decided…that it’s time to bring the curtain down.
“We are also gratified,” the notice concluded “that Quotidian has been, for so many, the kind of theater where you could linger in the lobby after a show, catch the actors or the director on their way out (whether they knew them personally or not) and feel free to talk about what you had just seen. Be assured, the benefits of these exchanges were mutual.”
Quotidian was co-founded by Jack Sbarbori and Stephanie Mumford in 1997. Sbarboni has been its Artistic Director throughout its 23-year existence.