MARTINEZ -- In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, the Willows Theatre Company board of directors announced that the 37-year-old group is closing.
Also on Tuesday, the board canceled performances of "A Doll's House" scheduled through the weekend.
In an interview Tuesday evening with this newspaper, board President Dennis Woodard said the board is meeting Wednesday to decide the company's future. Woodard declined to say whether the company is closing permanently, whether it intends to file for bankruptcy or whether ticket holders will receive refunds.
"We're meeting tomorrow night and we'll decide what were going to do. The public will know, the press will know and it will be pretty clear," he said Tuesday.
The company ran a cabaret in downtown Martinez and a theater in Concord. Martinez is paying $250,000 over five years to rent the Campbell Theatre, which houses the cabaret. Under the terms of the lease, Martinez must pay for the space even if the Willows closes permanently. The City Council is meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss its options.
News of the Willows' demise rocked the local theater community. Pleasant Hill resident Nancy Sale, who has acted with the Willows since the 1980s and most recently appeared in the company's production of "Anything Goes," was saddened by the news. She said the Willows was known for high-quality productions that drew actors from across the Bay Area.
"It's kind of a mystery and a real sad thing because they're a significant theater company in this area," Sale said Tuesday. "It's very sad to see something like the Willows fall by the wayside."
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.