Roberts have recurring role in fortunes of Philadelphia Theater Company

 Suzanne Roberts Theatre is for sale, and the company that uses it is looking for cash to carry them into the next season. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Suzanne Roberts Theatre is for sale, and the company that uses it is looking for cash to carry them into the next season. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Over the years, Suzanne Roberts and her husband, Ralph Roberts, a co-founder of Comcast, have put millions of dollars behind the Philadelphia Theater Company and its home theater on Broad Street.

 

 

The company moved into the theater in 2007, naming it after Suzanne Roberts, but hasn’t been able to finish raising the capital to pay for it. In May, TD Bank foreclosed on the property and put it on the market for $7.5 million. At least a half-dozen buyers have expressed interest in the property.

The Roberts had promised the theater company a cash grant of $200,000 at the end the year. PTC has asked for it now, so the company can survive to the end of the year.

“It’s sort of a bridge, and the Roberts said OK,” said Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for the Roberts. “They have agreed, and have now given $200,000 to the Philadelphia Theater Company – they gave it to them last week – to help the theater company remain operational.”

Feeley says the Roberts are considering putting more money behind the theater company, but are waiting for a study to be completed by an outside consultant on the company’s future viability. The study cannot be completed until the building is sold and the company can negotiate a rental agreement with the new owner.

In the meantime, Philadelphia Theater Company will continue to operate.

“We just completed a very successful run of Colin Quinn’s ‘Unconstitutional,'” said Gerald Riesenbach, board chairman of PTC. “We have an all-scholarship summer camp for lower-income children, which is starting shortly, and we are in the planning stages of our 40th anniversary season next year.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.