St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre celebrates financial turnaround

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The Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul announced Monday a financial turnaround following the cancellation of most of its 2012-13 season due to deep debt, the Pioneer Press reports.

An audit of the prominent African-American theater's finances revealed that the Penumbra finished the fiscal year at the end of June with $130,779 in assets, compared with a $715,243 deficit the year before.

"We are proud to share this audit. It speaks volumes about the character of this board and staff, but most importantly, it is testament to the value the community places on this theater," Penumbra board chair Bill Stevens said in a statement Monday.

During the rough stretch, the Penumbra was forced to shut down the theater and trim back its staff.

The Star Tribune reports that theatre company turned to the public to help raise the funds through a series of fundraising concerts.

As a result, 1,400 donors contributed $359,000 to the theater late last year, and founder Lou Bellamy announced in January that the theater was making a comeback.

The Penumbra opened again in March with the music-infused production "Spunk" (pictured, above) which the Star Tribune called a fitting choice because it "celebrated survival in the face of hardships."

The theater will next stage the holiday musical "Black Nativity," which will run Dec. 12-22.

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