CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Stage Company will take a final bow in the first week of July, according to a release from the theater group's media relations officer, Frieda Forsley.
In the release, Charleston Stage Company cited declining revenues and attendance over the course of several years, as well as a loss in backing from the West Virginia State University's College of the Arts and Sciences, as the underlying reasons why the company was dissolving.
Charleston Stage Company was co-founded by David Wohl, who was the dean of the college of arts and sciences at WVSU. Wohl served as artistic director of the stage company, but left Charleston in 2010, after he took a job at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, N.C.
Bethany Cline, a local actress, said she got her start in the Charleston theater scene with Charleston Stage Company's 1993 production of "Night of the Iguana" and recently appeared in their production of "God of Carnage."
Cline said she was sad to hear of the company's demise, but not entirely surprised.
"I was pretty sure they were going to have some trouble once David Wohl moved and he wasn't able to continue as artistic director."
Wohl, she said, was the glue that held the company together.
"I think most theater companies like Charleston Stage Company have a person like that," Cline said. "And they have to pass the torch on to someone else before they leave or it all falls apart."
Stuart Frazier, a member of Charleston's Stage Company's board since January, didn't specifically mention Wohl, but said the group has been trying to move forward past their relationship with WVSU. However, numerous financial challenges had built up because they were no longer associated with the university.
"We had bills we weren't used to," he said. "There were things we'd never paid before and that were covered by the university and suddenly they were on our lap."