Following Announcement of Operating Deficit, Guthrie Theater Furloughs Full-Time Employees

By Carey Purcell
January 15, 2014

The Guthrie Theater is furloughing the majority of its full-time staff, according to the Star Tribune.



The furlough lasts for one week, and the theatre is closed to the public for the month of January.

Trish Santini, director of external relations said the furloughs vary by department, and some staffers are taking additional vacation time, while others continue to work.

"But there’s still work being done here," Santini said in an interview with the Star Tribune. "The organization has not done a complete shutdown."

While the theatre is closed, the Guthrie is also completing repairs and updates to its facility; the Star Tribune reports that it is replacing the houselights operating system, cleaning carpets and refinishing the floors of the lobby of the Dowling Studio.

The furloughs follow the announcement of the Guthrie's first operating deficit in 19 years. The theatre announced a loss of almost $438,000 in the year ending Aug. 31, which marked its 50th anniversary.

The year also included expense cuts of $1.1 million and an increase of 10 percent in donations. Total contributions were $9.8 million — an increase of almost $1 million from the previous year. But season subscriptions continued to decline.

"We didn't reach the box office goals we set," Guthrie director Joe Dowling said in an interview with the Star Tribune in December. "We're still very healthy, but clearly a deficit is not a happy thing for any arts organization."

The Guthrie will reopen to the public Feb. 4.

Visit guthrietheater.org for more information.