Linda and Howie Hirsch started the playhouse across the street from the Hartford Stage Company. At the time It was called the City Repertory Company. Later, it moved to Park Road and into a garage next to The A.C. Petersen restaurant.
On April 11, 2001, they reopened as Park Road Playhouse. The theater quickly became well-regarded for its well-staged productions.
The community immediately embraced the theater and things had been going well. But, then the economy began to turn a year ago and the theater changed the onstage focus from serious dramas to comedies.
Ticket sales remained strong, but that was not enough to cover rising operating costs, even after many people worked without pay to help the playhouse finish the season.
In March, theater leadership made the tough decision to close the doors because of the economy.
"Bedroom Farce" was the 50th and final play. It too is a comedy -- about a couple whose marriage is on the rocks, so they inflict misery on three other couples who are near and dear to them.
Howard Hirsh said he is actively searching for a more affordable space, preferably in the Greater Hartford area.
This is the second theater forced to close this year. In February, the Connecticut Opera closed.