Following discussions between Creative New Zealand and Downstage Theatre Trust, Creative New Zealand will cease recurrent funding of Downstage Theatre from 30 June 2009.
Creative New Zealand has been concerned about the downward trend of audiences at Downstage over time, a trend which the 'new Downstage' vision intends to reverse.
Downstage is able to apply for funding beyond June 2009, and Creative New Zealand has indicated it will consider any application by February 2009.
The Downstage Theatre Board acknowledges Creative New Zealand's concerns about value for money for the new vision, which is as yet untested.
"Discussions with Creative New Zealand have been valuable to all of us at Downstage and we hope to work with Creative New Zealand in the future to deliver on our respective aims", says Downstage Chair, Tom Hardy.
Downstage celebrates its 45th anniversary next year and has implemented a fundraising programme to assist the company realise its dream of becoming the pre-eminent theatre for contemporary performing arts.
The company is currently putting into action its vision for a new Downstage, and will announce the 2009 programme in November.
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