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Guthrie furloughs most of its 120 employees

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The Guthrie Theater is furloughing most of its full-time staff for a week during January.

According to the Star Tribune, the Guthrie's employees have had forced time off a "couple of times" since moving to the riverfront complex in June of 2006.

The Guthrie has about 120 full-time employees. Director of external relations Trish Santini told the Star Tribune the furloughs vary by department and last for about a week.

The Guthrie is dark for January and the job furloughs follow news that the Guthrie ended its last fiscal year with a deficit of nearly $438,000. That followed a cut of $1.1 million in expenses the theater undertook during the year.

According to the theater, the Guthrie's annual gifts from donors and endowment increased during the last season, but ticket sales were down about 50,000 to 375,702.

Some departments remain on duty. The Pioneer Press reports tickets are still being sold and the Sea Change restaurant remains open for the month.

With the theater dark for January planned repairs are underway, including refinishing the Dowling Studio Theater lobby the floor and replacing the house lights in all three Guthrie theaters.

Repairs that were planned when the decision was made to close the theater for the month are being worked on.

Santini told the Pioneer Press the savings from the furloughs will be modest, especially because this month's repairs will add extra costs.

VitaMN reports the Guthrie is scheduled to reopen to the public on Feb. 4, when rehearsals begin for "Othello."

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