Downtown San Jose theater faces final curtain call
The Tabard Theatre in downtown San Jose is closing its doors on April 2. Photo by Jana Kadah.

    A San Jose art institution in downtown is closing its curtains later this year.

    The Tabard Theatre is closing indefinitely on April 2, according to Jonathan Rhys Williams, executive artistic director of the Tabard Theatre Company.

    “After three years of battling increasing costs, decreasing ticket sales and the ongoing effects of a global pandemic, we are simply no longer able to make ends meet and therefore will be unable to complete the current season,” Williams wrote in a letter to the community today.

    The COVID-19 pandemic decimated the local arts scene in downtown San Jose. In 2021, Team San Jose, which manages the city’s arts and cultural centers and tourism, reported zero dollars in revenue. While some have been able to recover, the small Tabard Theatre in San Pedro Square couldn’t keep up.

    There are still two shows residents can catch before the theater closes. “The Super Secret Society” runs until Sunday. Following that, “Once,” an eight-time Tony award-winning musical, will run from March 10 to April 2 as the 22-year old theater’s swan song.

    Downtown Councilmember Omar Torres said the city needs to work harder to preserve iconic institutions like Tabard Theatre, and he intends to do so. He said he was devastated to hear the news.

    “These are unique spots and are a part of the rich DNA of Downtown San Jose. They add to the diversity, the allure and ultimately the placemaking that is so vital to our city’s vibrancy,” Torres told San José Spotlight. “We all must roll up our sleeves and support the arts community and small businesses that are struggling to keep their doors open.”

    Customers who purchased tickets to the two other productions planned for the year, “Othello” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” will be contacted by the box office about options, Williams said.

    “The Tabard Theatre Company has meant so much to many of you as artists, technicians, volunteers, staff, and of course as subscribers, donors and patrons,” Williams said. “We thank everyone who has supported us over the past two decades, and particularly through this very challenging last three years.”

    Contact Jana Kadah at [email protected] or @Jana_Kadah on Twitter.

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