Philadelphia Theater Company gets $2.5 million for restructuring

 The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities meets Wednesday to announce a rate rollback for Jersey Central Power & Light customers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities meets Wednesday to announce a rate rollback for Jersey Central Power & Light customers. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The ailing Philadelphia Theater Company has received a shot in the arm from its longtime benefactors to the tune of $2.5 million.

Last spring the PTC lost its home on South Broad Street, the Suzanne Roberts Theater, to a bank foreclosure. TD Bank is actively searching for a buyer as the the company remains in the space, preparing to launch its 40th season with the 2010 Pulitzer-shortlisted dark comedy “Detroit” by Lisa D-Amour.

For 10 years one of its main benefactors, the same Suzanne Roberts who has her name on the marquee and her husband Ralph (parents of Comcast chairman Brian Roberts), have poured $5 million into the company. This new $2.5 million grant is contingent on the company’s ability to reorganize itself.

A reorganization plan has been drafted by Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and something of an arts administration guru. Kaiser has assessed the health of the Phladelphia Theater Company and will oversee it’s reorganization.

“Just by the fact that he’s joined us, he’s implied — he’s not implied, he’s told us — he thinks there’s something here to work with,” said Roberts spokesman Kevin Feeley. “We think there’s a good chance for the theater going forward.”

The reorganization plan involves making changes in how the theater is managed, and negotiating a generous deal with the building’s new owner — whoever that turns out to be. The plan has been agreed upon by all parties: the Roberts, PTC management, and TD Bank, which purportedly is searching for a sympathetic buyer.

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