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The Brown County Playhouse Closing its Doors

The longstanding Nashville theater will no longer be used as Indiana University's professional theater venue.

Brown County Playhouse

Photo: Indiana University

The small 400-seat venue has been part of Indiana University's theater program since its donation 62-years ago.

A Nashville landmark has closed its doors after 62-years of service.  Indiana University announced today (Friday) that it would no longer be using the Brown County Playhouse as a production facility.  IU Theater and Drama Department Chair Jonathan Michaelson says the facility has been running at a deficit for about 10-years…  and was simply no longer sustainable as a professional theater.  He notes basic maintenance issues with the building also contributed to the closure.

“That the takes need resources away from hiring students and hiring professionals and sort of putting money into the artistic vision of the playhouse.” says Michaelson

Nashville City Superintendent Roger Bush says while the loss of the facility is disappointing…   it’s difficult to predict the economic fallout of the closure at this time.

“It’s really hard to determine what that impact will be”, says Bush, “but obviously when any kind of longstanding institution that’s been here.  It’s a loss to the community.”

The Brown County Playhouse held its final IU-sponsored show, “Last Night at Ballyhoo”, on August 22.  Michaelson says the theatre department and the IU Foundation plan to work with Nashville residents to ensure that the building is still used as a performance space….  But the details have yet to be worked out.

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