The Ocean State Theatre Company in Cranston closed abruptly this week, blaming financial pressures. The theater’s board of directors said the company incurred large debts when it moved from South County and renovated a facility in Cranston.
Rhode Island Public Radio theater critic Bill Gale said he's sorry to see the theater close, noting that it offered something unique to the state.
“Well they were the only theater in Rhode Island that specialized in doing musicals. PPAC of course does musicals all the time, but that’s all out of New York,” said Gale.“It’s kind of a shame that they couldn’t make it.”
Gale described numerous empty seats when he attended productions at Ocean State Theatre, particularly following the move to Cranston. The company, founded in 2007, was relatively young.
Media reports suggest Ocean State Theater had been failing to pay rent and may have fallen behind on tax payments. The company has cancelled all current and future shows.