Today I was upset to learn of the impending closure of the Factory Theatre here in Boston. I have run lights on a couple shows there with my company, Flat Earth Theatre, and while I’m not as familiar with the space as some, I find it very unique— ideal for staging small, intimate productions. Unfortunately, gentrification in this city has been happening at a staggering rate, and it isn’t even as if the Factory exists in a hugely working class neighborhood, so I’m not surprised by the development. But it’s really unfortunate because it’s going to leave half a dozen fringe theatre companies homeless within a grotesquely undersized market for theatrical space. Flat Earth is very lucky to not have booked anything yet at the Factory for this fall or next year, and to have some more immediately available options before us.
The building management plans to turn the space into something like an indoor gym for tenants. You know something, gyms are fine and all, but if they’re going to raise the rent in the process (and why wouldn’t they?), I’d rather pay more rent to have a theatre in the same building as me than a gym. Who else would be so lucky?
In any case, Boston’s small theatre community is coming together to figure out something we can do about this, and I may provide occasional updates. But for now I just want to register my discontent.