Plano — Sad news for North Texas lovers of the British theatre holiday tradition known as the panto: The area's longest-running proponent of the art form, Theatre Britain, will close at the end of the 2017 season, which begins this weekend with the comedy Will You Still Love Me in the Morning? Founders Sue and Ian Birch are going back to the U.K. in 2018.
We will miss them, but look forward to the upcoming season. The five-show season at the Cox Building Playhouse in Plano ends with a panto of The Three Musketeers. Read more about the season in our announcement here.
You can read a feature on Theatre Britain, which we ran in November, here.
Below is the news release from Theatre Britain:
The Board of Directors at Theatre Britain announced today that Artistic Director Sue Birch will step down at the end of the 2017. Sue and her husband, Ian, will be returning to the UK in early 2018.
Sue was one of the founders of Theatre Britain in 1996 and assumed responsibility for production in 2002. She guided the company through the recession, managed the move to Plano in 2010 and has overseen an expansion back up to five shows a year at the Cox Playhouse.
2016 was a year of record attendance and Theatre Britain begins 2017 fiscally strong and debt free.
The Board recently embarked on a three-year plan to secure funding to pay a salary to the Artistic Director and to a part-time administrator. This timeframe is no longer practical and an executive search for a replacement for Sue cannot take place without this funding.
The Board has reluctantly decided, therefore, that 2017 will be Theatre Britain's final season.
The Board thanks all those who have contributed to Theatre Britain's success over the years and looks forward to a stellar final season.