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33-Year-Old Pearl Theatre Company Closes After Filing For Bankruptcy

 The Pearl Theatre Company.
The Pearl Theatre Company.
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Facebook/The Pearl Theatre Company

HELL’S KITCHEN — A longtime theater company has closed its doors after filing for bankruptcy amid financial challenges.

The Pearl Theatre Company, at 555 W. 42nd St. near 11th Avenue, stopped operating after its 2016-2017 season wrapped up, the company said in a release Wednesday.

Maintaining its 160-seat theater “proved to be an insurmountable challenge” that led to the bankruptcy filing, it added.

“Despite this company’s continuing critical acclaim, record-setting audiences, and landmark institutional support, the efforts of the artists, staff and Board of Trustees simply could not outpace the economic reality of operating a mid-size theatre company in Manhattan amid a crowded field of worthy causes,” the company said.

The 33-year-old off-Broadway troupe performed out of a theater on St. Marks Place in the East Village for years before rising rents forced its move to Midtown and then to Hell’s Kitchen, the New York Times reported.

The company’s final production was a stage version of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel “Vanity Fair.”

“Artistic enterprises are live beasts, and everything that’s live has a life span,” the theater’s founder Shepard Sobel told the Times.

“I’m not sure that this was a possible dream from the beginning.”