Raleigh-based NC Theatre declares bankruptcy and cancels the rest of its season

The North Carolina Theatre, which has been putting on live theater in Raleigh for decades, has declared bankruptcy and canceled the rest of its 2024 season.

The theater’s board announced the decision Friday, citing “external forces during and after the pandemic,” including higher production costs, the loss of corporate and personal sponsorships, a decline in sales and a slow return of audiences to live venues. The theater is based at the Martin Marietta Performing Arts Center downtown.

The board said the theater had tried to find new funding and scale down productions to reduce expenses.

“Unfortunately, those efforts did not result in the ability to continue producing live theatre at this time,” the board said in a statement. “As a part of the reorganization plan, NCT will continue its efforts to secure substantial public funding to supplement its funding from ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations.”

Among the shows that are canceled is a production of the Broadway hit “Rent,” which was scheduled for late April.

During the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the nonprofit company plans to continue day-to-day operation of the N.C. Theatre Conservatory and its training programs in acting, dance and voice performance.

The board said it hopes to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy as the region’s premiere theater, again producing performances that blend local actors with professionals from Broadway. The theater would focus on “more cost-effective productions in the smaller, more intimate A.J. Fletcher Theatre” at the performing arts center.

The company also hopes it will eventually be able to “provide some form of credit” to those who bought tickets to shows that are now canceled. And it issued an apology.

“The NCT Board requests grace, patience, and generosity from fellow patrons and subscribers during the reorganization phase,” it said in its announcement.