After 11 years of presenting innovative and thought-proving aerial theatre, DNA Theatre will close on January 1st, 2016. I wish we could remain open, but our current company model is unsustainable in Baltimore. This decision has been tough but I believe we end on a high-note. You can read more about this decision below...
An open letter to the friends of DNA Theatre from Artistic & Genearal Director, Kel Millionie:
I founded DNA Theatre as a hobby in the Summer of 2004. The goal was to produce original theatre works in Baltimore showcasing our aerial talents. At the time, I never anticipated that the group would grow into the company that it has become today. We started with four artists, making small theatre for small audiences once or twice a year. Today we stand as a variable team of thirty-five creative professionals. At times, we have expanded to a team of more than sixty individuals. While this growth has been slow, it has not been without its inherent hardships. Sometimes we'd produce two or three shows a year. Sometimes the company would go into hibernation and produce only once a year. This inconsistency occurred because of my personal capacity to fundraise and time-manage. DNA Theatre has developed into something much more than a passion project. I am no longer able to sustain the company as its sole managing individual.
We are at a point in growth where we need our own space, and a staff of several full-time employees, to be successful or our work's quality will suffer. For several years, we have hopped from inadequate space to inadequate space making-do with what we can barely afford. DNA Theatre makes highly-technical performances with exceptional craftsmanship. Rehearsal and performance spaces must meet rigorous criteria. Ceilings must be of a minimal height and load bearing. Floor space must be clean, level, and vast. Rigging equipment must be easily and safely accessed. It is a full-time job searching for afordable rehearsal space with the infrastructure to support our endeavours.
The theatre scene in Baltimore is highly stratified. The community is a rich landscape of performance-based practitioners on every level. From the very small companies or soloists who produce one-off experimental works in the semi-condemned basement of downtown warehouses, to the LORT-B presence of CENTERSTAGE; every calibre of experience is available to the region's audiences. This diversity makes for a highly saturated market with every artist and company competing for the dollars of a limited patron base. There's only so much audience to go around. Recently, a full-house has been difficult to come by for DNA Theatre.
The company has grown beyond my capacity to holistically sustain our current operating model. We do not have sustainable cyclic income in which to hire more help. I refuse to trudge forward ignoring the glaring truth. This decision to close has been a hard one to come to terms with, but I believe it is the best possible decision. The entire company and I are proud of the accomplishments that 11 years have exhibited.
Thank you for being a part of our extended family. You may email me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns: