ImprovBoston will quickly be dimming its lights for the ultimate time.
After a 40-year run of laughter on the Cambridge comedy theater, ImprovBoston has introduced that it’s shutting its doorways on the finish of the yr. The Board of Directors is winding down all operations amid fiscal challenges for the nonprofit.
The Central Square staple tried to reemerge submit pandemic, with the National Touring Company performing throughout New England, and an everyday roster of courses every week. The group mentioned it can fulfill all remaining contracts and courses, all employees shall be launched, and the theater plans on evaluating all choices through the the rest of the yr.
“This is incredibly difficult,” Managing Director Matt Laidlaw mentioned in an announcement. “Everyone at ImprovBoston labored extraordinarily onerous over these final three years to maintain our doorways open — from Leadership to our Touring Company, Instructors, Techs, Staff, Ensemble Members, volunteers and college students.
“I’m incredibly proud we were able to keep performing post pandemic and offer shows and classes to our beloved fans,” Laidlaw added. “However, without a theater to call ‘our own’ our chances for surviving long-term are very low. The best decision for the business is to wind down, and wrap up operations.”
Founded within the early Eighties and performing in small bars and eating places in Boston and Somerville, ImprovBoston began with a small dwelling in Inman Square in Cambridge earlier than in the end shifting to its bigger, 140-seat theater in Central Square.
Just like many small arts organizations, the pandemic pressured the nonprofit to go away its theatrical dwelling, whereas establishing store in a couple of lecture rooms and a small efficiency area throughout the road on Massachusetts Avenue.
“ImprovBoston has been a mainstay in Cambridge, performing for this incredible community and bringing laughter to so many,” mentioned Board of Directors Chair Tammi Pirri Day. “While trying to maintain operations over the last three years has been incredibly challenging, ImprovBoston is proud to have taught many students the art of Improv. While we wish the outcome was different, we are honored to have served this great community for so long.”
The theater acquired the Small Business Administration’s “Shuttered Venue Operator Grant” in 2021, and a number of Cambridge Community Foundation grants, in addition to further COVID-relief funds to remain open post-pandemic. Ultimately, smaller viewers sizes, restricted industrial venue area, and the timing of latest funding alternatives left little room for the theater to tackle a brand new area.
The group additionally acquired important help by way of donations and fundraising efforts.
Laidlaw mentioned, “We owe a tremendous amount of recognition to all who have offered donations, both large and small and all of those who have volunteered their time or expertise to help guide us through these last few years.”