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Nationally acclaimed Penumbra Theatre suspends programming

St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre, the nation's most esteemed African-American theater, says they have suspended programming for the year. In addition to a halt in productions, the company laid off six members of its full-time staff. Fundraising may allow the theater produce a musical next year.
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The nation's largest and most esteemed African-American theater is suspending its programming for the year. The Star Tribune reports Penumbra Theatre, located in St. Paul, is undergoing an "immediate cash-flow challenge" that also prompted the company to lay off six of its 16 full-time employees.

The theater says fundraising efforts need to reach at least $340,000 this fall to produce a musical in March 2013, the newspaper says.

Artistic director Lou Bellamy founded Penumbra in 1976. Bellamy was profiled on NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" last year.

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