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JOINT STATEMENT FROM BOSTON UNIVERSITY AND THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2015
CONTACT: Colin Riley, Boston University, criley@bu.edu 617 293 1543
Desiree Barry, Huntington Theatre Company, dbarry@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu, 617 273 1518 

(Boston, MA) — Over the past thirty-three years, Boston University (BU) and the Huntington Theatre Company have worked together to offer a wonderful series of theatrical performances at the 890-seat BU Theatre on Huntington Avenue. BU provided the theatre space and annual financial subsidies, and in return, the Huntington presented world-class artists, updated classics, and any number of memorable world premieres. In two buildings adjoining the theatre, which are also owned by BU, staff members of the Huntington and BU theatre arts students worked together to create scenery, sets, and costumes for their respective productions. It has been a partnership that enlivened the regional cultural arts scene. 

Over the course of the last year, however, it has become clear that BU and the Huntington both have needs that the partnership can no longer meet. The Huntington needs a more modern theatre in which to present its large-scale productions as well as function space for its patrons. BU needs to better serve its theatre arts students and thus relocate its production, design, and black box facilities to its Charles River Campus. Neither BU nor the Huntington have the resources it will take to renovate and modernize the BU Theatre within the constraints of our current partnership.

After extensive discussions, BU and the Huntington have decided to dissolve our partnership. We reached the conclusion that we are both far more likely to achieve our different goals in the future by proceeding individually rather than together. This has been a difficult decision to make, but we both believe it is the right one. In implementing this decision, we are acutely aware of the need to move thoughtfully and in ways that give both of us the time to transition to our respective next steps. To that end, the University will immediately put the theatre and two adjoining buildings on the open market, and BU will require any buyer to guarantee the Huntington’s use of the facility through June 30, 2017. This guarantee provides a reasonable amount of time for the University and the Huntington to plan and implement our next steps. The Huntington will have the time to either look for a new theatre in which to present its programs after 2017, or talk with potential developers and buyers of the BU Theatre properties about establishing a new partnership. BU students will continue to have a place to participate in scenery and set design work while the University builds new production, design, and black box facilities on its Charles River Campus. 

As we have said, we have agreed to be thoughtful and supportive of each other as we go our separate ways. We appreciate what our institutions have meant to each other for over three decades, and we respect the way in which we came to acknowledge that our respective needs are both changing and divergent. We will continue to work closely and collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition in the upcoming years.

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