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'Savage/Love' by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard at Single Carrot Theatre in 2016. Pictured: Kellie Mecleary and Genevieve de Mahy. (Photo by Britt Olsen-Ecker.)

Single Carrot Theatre to Close After 15 Years

The Baltimore theatre recently postponed a planned production.

BALTIMORE: Single Carrot Theatre has announced that it will permanently close at the end of the fiscal year. The company plans to host a farewell party in the spring.

“It is with a wave of complex emotions that after 15 years of joyfully serving Baltimore City and beyond with bold, transformative theatre and impactful, inspiring arts programming, Single Carrot Theatre has decided to close at the end of the fiscal year,” artistic director Genevieve de Mahy said in a statement. “I am deeply proud of so many aspects of our 15 year history: the way Single Carrot has been an artistic home for so many artists, how we have been able to play a role in launching artists’ careers, and the relationships we have built with the incredible people of Baltimore.”

Single Carrot will continue to host its education programs through the end of the school year, and de Mahy said on the theatre’s website that the staff is “in the process of exploring how our thriving education programs can continue past SCT’s closing.”

The theatre’s two planned productions for the remainder of the season, BLKS by Aziza Barnes and Dance Nation by Clare Barron, will not be staged. In December, Single Carrot announced that they were postponing BLKS because they were “not fully prepared to support our artists.”

“Staffing shortages, delays in confirming a venue, and Single Carrot’s inadequate communication on these fronts resulted in the direct harm to Black artists, which is antithetical to our mission and values,” the theatre wrote in an email in December. “We must ardently affirm all perspectives and experiences of those who have been working on BLKS, and sincerely apologize to those artists whose creative work was not adequately facilitated.”

Single Carrot was founded in 2007 by a group of theatre artists from Colorado. It has mounted more than 60 mainstage productions and developed robust educational programs. Single Carrot has also participated in three international collaborations and worked with service organizations across Baltimore.

The theatre specified multiple reasons for its closure, including the planned departure of de Mahy after nine years and the planned departure of executive director Emily Cory. Single Carrot also said that the return to in-person programming since the pandemic shutdown has presented “organizational challenges [that] have made sustaining a theatre of its size ever more difficult,” including “staffing shortages and stretched human capacity.” On the company’s website, de Mahy wrote that the theatre “could not offer fair compensation to bring in artists and staff members and keep them,” and that they did not want to perpetuate the theatre industry’s reliance on “undervalued and unpaid labor.”

De Mahy stressed that the decision to close the theatre “was made thoughtfully and with comprehensive discussion between our board, ensemble, and staff.” Single Carrot plans to release a final data report “to be used for advocacy and awareness.”

The mission of Single Carrot Theatre is to create socially relevant theatre as a form of civic engagement in Baltimore by producing vibrant, experiential performances in traditional and non-traditional venues, building cross-sector partnerships, and facilitating empowering education programs. As of 2021, the theatre’s budget was approximately $571,000.

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