Jump-Start getting the Blue Star boot
By Deborah Martin, Staff Writer
Updated 6:14 pm, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The group will be moving in January, said Producing Director Lisa Suarez. Jump-Start's lease ends in September, but company members were able to negotiate a four-month extension.
Jump-Start is the latest arts group to leave the complex as owner James Lifshutz carries out renovations to add more retail.
Lifshutz did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.
The news that Jump-Start will have to move came as a surprise, said Dino Foxx, the theater's public relations director. The company had met with Lifshutz last year as renovations moved forward, Foxx said, and had been told they could rest easy.
“At that time, they assured us that we were definitely a tenant they wanted to keep,” Foxx said.
They received a phone call April 10 informing them otherwise.
The move also will leave Classic Theatre, which shares Jump-Start's space, homeless.
Classic is slated to open the farce “Scapin” May 10. That show's run will take place as planned.
Both companies are determining how to move forward.
“Many options are being brought to the table,” Suarez said. “I was continuing to remind everyone, we are not about this facility necessarily. We are about the creativeness that comes from the company.”
The possibility of the two theater troupes finding a new space together has been floated, Foxx said, but it's too early to say how likely that is to happen.
“There are so many question marks,” said Renee Garvens, who handles publicity and oversees the education program for Classic. “At this point, we want to make sure that we contact all of our big donors and let them know we're full steam ahead.”
The Overtime Theater left Blue Star last year, also as a result of the renovation. The company found a new home near the Pearl Brewery.
Leaving Blue Star turned out well for them, said Artistic Director Kyle Gillette.
“The Pearl is the area right now that is promoting exciting new work and where things are happening,” he said. “And Blue Star, unfortunately, has decided to shun its artists. It's a real shame what they're doing.”