Experimental theater Single Carrot to close after 15 years

Published on: January 25, 2023 5:19 PM EST|Updated on: January 26, 2023 1:35 PM EST

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Single Carrot Theatre, an experimental community theater, announced Wednesday that it will close this spring after 15 years in operation staging performances, educational activities and more.

In a statement posted to its website, the company said “the reasons for closing are complex, multi-faceted and layered.”

While the note partially cited the pandemic, which greatly affected the theater community, artistic director Genevieve de Mahy said the time after lockdown was most difficult.

“This time is harder because there’s less relief funds” — financial help that de Mahy believes could have freed artists up to do more creative work.

Without those funds, the theater found it hard to retain and fairly compensate their staff. SCT’s technical director left in November; executive director Emily Cory is leaving soon for a new position; and their director of community partnerships recently resigned.

“Nonprofit theater has always been a labor of love, and it’s always required human effort beyond their compensation, but now it’s especially hard,” de Mahy said.

De Mahy is the last founding member of SCT and has served in several capacities, including her nine-year tenure as artistic director. When Cory decided to seek employment elsewhere, the remaining staff was worried about bringing in a new director.

“We just didn’t think we could set a new leader up for success,” de Mahy said. Soon, the full-time staff will be just her and education director Parker Matthews.

Since its inception in 2007, Single Carrot Theatre has produced more than 60 performances that include known and new performances. Each season, SCT mounted original works that were written in collaboration with artists and the theater itself.

“Original works have always been part of our mission,” de Mahy said. Productions such as “Is Edward Snowden Single?” and “Healthy Holly’s Hidden Hideaway” brought the theater recognition for producing culturally relevant original productions.

Although the theater company won’t be performing another season, SCT hopes to continue its educational programming, which de Mahy said is thriving.

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They do in- and after-school programming with Baltimore City students, including day camps for professional development days, and are still under contract with some Baltimore City schools to continue providing education to their students.

As they prepare to close, SCT is asking from theatergoers who have fond memories of the company to share their stories in advance of a farewell party they hope to host in the coming months.

This story has been corrected to say that a reduction in federal pandemic relief funding affected Single Carrot Theatre's ability to fairly compensate its staff.