American Musical Theatre of San Jose - History - San Jose Music Theatre

San Jose Music Theatre

In 1972, as the company continued to grow in popularity and success, SJLOA changed its name to San Jose Music Theatre (SJMT), in time for its move into the new San Jose Community Theatre (renamed in 1975 as the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts). To mark the occasion, SJMT hired its first Equity actor, Enzo Stuarti, for its production of South Pacific. Unfortunately, the move to the new venue was delayed when the interior ceiling of the Community Theatre collapsed, closing the building for three years for repairs.

In 1975, SJMT finally debuted at the Center for Performing Arts with Guys and Dolls. That same year, SJMT began to contract much more Equity talent, including stars like Michele Lee, Tommy Tune, JoAnne Worley, Theodore Bikel, and Tyne Daly. The influx of Equity actors forced SJMT to begin a costume shop; before that, actors were responsible for making their own costumes. By 1979 SJMT was providing costumes for the entire cast.

The 1979/1980 season saw a downturn in the company's fortunes. The premiere of City of Broken Promises, based on the book of the same name by Austin Coates, ran so far over budget that SJMT faced bankruptcy. The President of the board resigned, and newly installed President Anthony J. Mercant demanded that each board member donate $500 or resign. The members complied, and this, coupled with a grant from Chevron, averted financial disaster.

Read more about this topic:  American Musical Theatre Of San Jose, History

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