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Permian Playhouse to close after 58 years

Permian Playhouse to close after 58 years

Permian Playhouse, a beloved 58-year-old community theatre in Odessa, will cease operations effective Dec. 31, the Basin Theatre Works Board of Directors announced online.

Its final production, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, will run from Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17. Tickets can be purchased here.

“The decision to close comes after years of financial strain on the organization and the challenges of endless upkeep and maintenance of an old building,” the Basin Theatre Works Board states.

The Board added that it explored various avenues to secure funding and support, “but the current economic climate has left no viable alternatives.” The building may be closing, but Basin Theatre Works said its commitment to arts in Odessa will continue.

Since 1965, Permian Playhouse provided a stage for countless productions, musicals, and theatre classes that captivated audiences and nurtured local talent. It underwent numerous transformations adapting to evolving times throughout the decades, the Board said.

News of the closure, posted to the Basin Theatre Works’ Facebook page, drew numerous comments from community members expressing sorrow and remembering their experiences with Permian Playhouse. One community member said her daughter “found her voice (both figuratively and literally),” due to her participation in the theatre.

Basin Theatre Works expressed gratitude to read all of the posted memories and added the decision wasn’t made lightly.

“We absolutely believe that Theatre is magic, but we don’t believe it’s the four walls and the roof that make the magic, we believe that it’s the people,” the organization stated. “All of you have made this magic for so long and we will continue to make that magic. Just in different places and spaces.”

Find this story in audio for blind and low-vision adults 2 pm daily on The Recording Library of West Texas radio station www.recordinglibrary.org live stream.