The History of SonLight


Orange City News
Orange, California

April 9, 1975
Page 3

Going before council
PAPA on verge of closing down

The Pacific Academy of the Performing Arts (PAPA) is in serious financial trouble and may have to cease operation completely unless it can raise $6,000 by April 15, according to Carla Dow, PAPA spokesman.

This week Richard Dow, PAPA director is expected to go to the Orange city council to ask for support, possibly financial support in order to bail the troubled organization out.

According to Dow the problem is so serious "rehearsals are being stopped, and casts dismissed, and notices sent to season ticket holders. Unless funds are available by the 15th of April, and reasonable terms arranged for the immediate re-lease of The Playhouse, PAPA's planned program will have to be abandoned. There will be no 12-month season of adult plays; no quarterly production of children's theater; no monthly production of special concert events; and an academy for training in the performing arts," she said in a written statement to the Daily News.

Dow blamed the troubles on Alberto Morelli, proprietor of the Playhouse when PAPA first began operations there.

She claimed that "PAPA's productions were not only breaking even but providing some net toward building costs, as well, which is virtually unheard of for any new theatrical organization.

"However, The Playhouse itself, under the proprietorship of Alberto Morelli, was running into deficit, and with less than half of the first lease term having expired. Morelli broke his lease with PAPA, - even tough PAPA was not in default under the contract - and PAPA was locked out of The Playhouse."

According to Dow's statement PAPA needs $2,000 to resume operations, $4,000 to continue operation, $2,500 to stage shows and $6,500 to complete the current season which runs through June.

PAPA, she said, has $1,000 on hand and expects $9,000 from box office revenues if the season continues, thus leaving the deficit of $6,000.

She said that Morelli's planned purchase of The Playhouse from owner Norm Goodin was aborted and "PAPA has since been attempting to raise the funds to negotiate directly with Goodin."

She also blamed part of the financial troubles on Goodin who rented the Playhouse out to PAPA for a rental fee of $3,000 a month. She said she feels this figure "excessive for a four-wall lease of premises that contain no heat, no air-conditioning and no lighting facilities.

In her statement she praised the moral support given PAPA, especially by civic leaders, "but financial support, which is the tangible expression of the community's desire to have this kind of program and facility in the city, has not been forthcoming as yet."

"Long-term or no-interest loans, and contributions or grants have not appeared," she added.

Goodin, when contacted by the Daily News, admitted that he had taken back ownership of The Playhouse. "I asked Morelli to leave," he said, "because he owes me back rent. He's out of the picture now."

But Goodin did not paint the bleak picture that Dow painted in her statement. "We're trying to work out a deal so they can continue, he said. "I think we're going to go ahead."

Goodin also admitted that he has several people interested in The Playhouse and added that he wants "to give someone a one-year master lease and they can sub-lease The Playhouse to other groups."

Goodin hinted that it is possible that the $3,000 a month rental fee may drop if he and PAPA can work out some kind of an arrangement.

PAPA was scheduled to open its latest show, "The Fantastics" last week but that opening failed to come about. PAPA has staged two major productions this season, "Fiddler on the Roof" in February and "Barefoot in the Park" last month.


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