Plantation's Mosaic Theatre Closes Unexpectedly | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Plantation's Mosaic Theatre Closes Unexpectedly

In an unexpected open letter from the Mosaic Theatre's executive and artistic director, Richard Jay Simon, he not only resigned from his position, but also announced the closing of the theater. 

In his open letter, Simon makes it clear that he is resigning purely for personal reasons. He and his wife are expecting their first child and as a result he will no longer be able to work the endless hours required of his role.

According to a post on Florida Theatre On Stage, Mosaic Theatre's board decided the matter by vote at 9:15 p.m. Sunday night, and at 3 p.m. Monday Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League, sent out the formal announcement in a press release. 

Despite offering to stay on as a consultant, the board still voted to simply close the theater. They did not believe it could go on successfully without Simon's tireless devotion.

In his press release, Arthur expressed his shock and disappointment at the sudden news, his gratitude for Simon's efforts, and his worries for the future of local theater in South Florida.

Mosaic Theatre was committed to working with the local community - hiring many local actors, designers and directors every season. In every curtain speech of every Mosaic show I ever attended, Simon would implore his audiences to see more local theatre, his passion for this theatre community always shining through. Mosaic Theatre heartedly invested in the talent of South Florida, producing a range of plays and musicals that provided South Florida actors, directors and designers with unique challenges.

The news of the closure comes as a shock to our community, which is still grieving the losses of Florida Stage, The Promethean Theatre and Caldwell Theatre Company. However, as Simon did in every one of his curtain speeches, I encourage you to keep supporting the thought provoking work that we will miss from Mosaic Theatre at our other member companies.

Thank you to Richard Jay Simon for creating a vibrant, ever-changing space where local artists got to thrive.

UPDATE: Originally, we reported that the phones at the theater were no longer working. However, we were contacted by the theater and told the phones are indeed still operational and the staff at the theater have been fielding a flood of calls from the community.

As Simon mentions in his letter, current season ticket holders will be refunded and subscribers can expect to receive a check for the three remaining shows soon.

In the meantime, this is a sad day for the arts in South Florida.

Here's Simon's letter:

Dear Friends of Mosaic Theatre,

A few weeks ago I submitted my resignation as Executive/Artistic Director, effective at the 
end of the 2012/2013 Season, to my Board.

As you can imagine, it was with a heavy heart and the decision was not an easy one for me. I spent 14 years of my life investing everything I had in making Mosaic Theatre what it is today and I'm quite proud of what we have accomplished.

As I have become older and as I am about to become a father, I wish to improve my quality of life.  My priorities have changed and I have changed.  

I stated to the Board that I would do everything within my power to allow Mosaic Theatre to flourish including remaining as a consultant, Board Member and advocate.  Mosaic is my baby and I want to see it fly and soar to the new heights I believe it so richly deserves.

However, last Monday, the Board voted to close the theater. The Board believes that it was a financially responsible decision to close the theater as I am "the heart and soul" of the organization and without me, it has no chance to move forward. 

I, of course opposed the decision to close the theater, but unfortunately, I am only one vote. I want it to be clear that everyone on the Board loves the theater and wishes that it could continue. The Board tried to convince me to withdraw my resignation. I didn't.

I am incredibly grateful that we are going to be returning subscription revenue for the 
remainder of the season. This is significant and is a great demonstration of goodwill on 
behalf of the organization. Checks for three shows will be mailed shortly.

As for me, I now plan to pursue opportunities in many different arenas and am honestly 
unsure what my next chapter in life will be. I know that I plan to remain in South Florida 
and will always be a patron, advocate, and champion of theater.  
Thank you South Florida.  It has been an honor to serve this community and I sincerely hope that I have enriched the quality of your lives in some way.

Much love,
Richard Jay Simon
Founder and Executive/Artistic Director
Mosaic Theatre

You can contact Rebecca Dittmar by emailing [email protected].

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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