Paper Mill gets $3.5 million loan

Theater in rehearsals for season finale

Financially troubled New Jersey theater the Paper Mill Playhouse has obtained a lifeline, with a $3.5 million loan from Investors Savings Bank.

“This is the first step in a long-range plan to revitalize the Playhouse and ensure the theater’s financial stability,” said board chairman Ken Thorn.

The long-standing Jersey non-profit legit institution has been threatened with closure in recent months by an escalating cash crisis that began under previous artistic director Michael Gennaro, who exited in January. Despite the uncertainty that preceded the show’s opening, the deficit-heavy theater recently completed its run of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”

Paper Mill currently is in rehearsals for its final production of the season, “Pirates!” Adapted from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” and conceived by director Gordon Greenberg, the production is scheduled to run June 7-July 8, starring Farah Alvin, Ed Dixon, Barrett Foa and Liz McCartney. The cash crunch has caused the staging to be scaled down from the creative team’s original plans.

Since Gennaro’s departure in January, Paper Mill has been run by acting a.d. Mark S. Hoebe and managing director Diane Claussen.

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