by Rachel Swan
By some measures we were too early announcing the death of Willows Theatre three years ago. The theater did, indeed, shutter briefly as a result of declining ticket sales and donor funding, but eventually found a deus ex machina in the form of managing and funding consultant David Faustina, who was anointed managing director when the theater reopened in 2011. Faustina enjoyed a year and-a-half tenure during which he attempted to resuscitate the ailing, then 36 year-old Concord venue via budget whittling and personnel cutbacks. Despite his efforts, Willows was ultimately unable to keep up with production costs. In a press release sent Tuesday and reprinted in the Contra Costa Times, the theater said it will close again. Its board also canceled the remaining performances of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, which was supposed to run through Saturday.
According to Contra Costa Times reporter Lisa White, Willows has left the city of Martinez stuck with the lease to its Campbell Theater, which stipulates that Martinez pay $250,000 over five years, even if the theater closes. The council will meet tonight and hopefully hash out a plan.