Sad Theater News
Dallas' Imprint Theatreworks announces final bow after 5 short but memorable years
After a slew of canceled shows and unfulfilled seasons, Imprint Theatreworks has officially announced its closure.
The board of directors cited "the pervasive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic" as the reason and named December 31, 2022, as the final day of operations for the critically-acclaimed Dallas theater company, which was founded in 2017 by Ashley H. White, Joe Messina, and Jessie Wallace.
“The trust, passion, grit, urgency, and enthusiasm in which we created art together was unlike any experience I’ve ever had," says White, who also served as artistic director, in a release. "When we founded Imprint, we came up with the tagline 'make your mark.' Well, it certainly made its mark on me, as did every single person who I had the sincere privilege of partnering with through our endeavors.”
Imprint immediately turned heads with its outstanding inaugural production of Glengarry Glen Ross in January 2018 and went on to excel at intimate musicals and plays, including Murder Ballad, Ghost Quartet, Lizzie, The Revolutionists, and In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play).
The company racked up awards and critical acclaim in its first two seasons, and quickly found footing with its First Impressions Festival for showcasing new, local work.
But Imprint Theatreworks just could not seem to recover after the pandemic.
Its revamped, mostly digital third season only saw two productions — the online revue Raise You Up and a digital presentation of The Impact of The Gadget on Civilization — come to fruition, with new musical The Tree going all the way through rehearsals only to be canceled shortly before the in-person opening night. We Are Pussy Riot (or, Everything is PR) was added as the official return to live onstage production in October 2021.
None of the titles from the company's fourth season materialized as planned, except for the First Impressions Festival.
"The community we built together was filled with the most selfless, passionate acts of artistry I have ever been privileged to witness," says Imprint managing director Kyle Igneczi. "To each staff member, artist, volunteer, and patron that has ever witnessed the magic of an Imprint production, we thank you for allowing us to serve you. Thank you for believing in the power of theater to enact change, inspire new life, and rise up to define our generation of the arts here in our community."
"Imprint's small but mighty staff, all award-winning artists in their own right, have consistently risen to meet and exceed every challenge laid before them show after show, season after season, year after year, and we are so proud of the work they have done to bring amazing work to our region," says co-founder Messina, who also served as the board VP. "This decision was not an easy one and we want to acknowledge that their herculean efforts through the years have not gone unnoticed. You have all made an indelible impact on the cultural landscape of our community, and one this town won't soon forget."
Although all contracts and productions for Imprint are currently on hold, the board has enacted a clause in their by-laws assigning all future activity to the original co-founders.
“We work in a business of seasons," says White. This season of Imprint may be ending, but the mark we made on ourselves, each other, and the community will live on. I am eternally grateful. Imprint will hold a part of my heart forever, as will this beautiful theatrical community in which we got to reside.”