Lexington-based AthensWest Theatre Company shuts down after eight years

After eight years, the AthensWest Theatre Company has announced its final act. The group had two successful productions this year, but people with the company..
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 10:39 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After eight years, the AthensWest Theatre Company has announced its final act. The group had two successful productions this year, but people with the company said they have to shut down.

“Theatres come and go. We had hoped to create a theatre that would last and be an institution for our community. I believe for eight years, we did that,” said Bo List, the producing artistic director of AthensWest Theatre Company.

The company is lowering the curtain one last time.

“We were on a really wonderful track until the pandemic began. What we always intended to do was put our money where our mouth was and as much of our resources as we could directly on the stage. In hope that our human resources would eventually catch up to that,” List said.

List said they tried to pivot during the pandemic, and they even started performing some plays over the WUKY airwaves. But it just wasn’t enough. They can no longer afford to hire a full-time staff.

“One of the things about theatre is it’s an ephemeral artform. Unlike film, unlike visual arts, you can’t enjoy it again and again the same way as you did when you experienced it the first time,” List said.

But the memories made do last. And so do the skill sets of every single person who has worked on one of the company’s 17 shows over the years.

“Our AthensWest may be coming to a close, but a lot of the people who got their early starts here are just beginning their careers and we couldn’t be more excited for them,” List said.

List said he’s still hopeful.

“I know that another theatre will come along. Hopefully it will pick up where we left off and do even better. I’ll be there wholeheartedly ready to support it whatever it is,” List said.

When it first opened AthensWest did something different in the city’s arts scene. It was a professional company operating under a stage actors union, so regional professionals performed with local artists.

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