Dayton company to claims of its demise: 'we have a whole lot more to offer'

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

The artistic director and co-founder of a local theater company wants to state for the record that it’s here to stay.

Tristan Cupp says Zoot Theatre Company has not folded and will continue to put on shows. He says reports of the company's "demise" are false.

Cupp said statements Dayton City Paper Publisher Paul Noah put forward in a recent Letter from the Publisher published in that newspaper are false.

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“We are working on putting on a (new) season,” Cupp said. “(We will be taking) the arts to the community with smaller shows and workshops.”

In the March 28- April 3 newspaper, Noah responded to a reader's letter about a canceled Zoot performance at Miamisburg Plaza Theatre.

He said his newspaper did not know about Zoot’s “apparent demise” when it published a story about and sponsored the show.

"I called the person we knew as Zoot's executive director. She told me she is now the former executive director. Yet she also admitted she knew about this problem and chose to assume someone else from Zoot would think to call to let us know," Noah also wrote. "Of course, nobody else from Zoot let us know. They were likely too busy worrying about their doomed upcoming show to care enough not to inconvenience anyone who may have read our cover story about them."

This news organization was unable to reach Noah for additional comment.

Cupp said Katie Kerry did resign from the executive director position, but that the show was postponed, not canceled.

Emily von Stuckrad-Smolinski, the Plaza Theatre's executive director, said the theater could not get a wine license in time for the show.

The theater hopes to soon secure the license and will reschedule the show with Zoot at that time.

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Like many nonprofit arts organizations, Cupp said Zoot, a multifaceted puppet company, has financial pressures, but he said Zoot has not closed up shop and does not intend to. The company knows how to endure, he said.

"That's not going to stop me," Cupp said. "We started in a recession. We have a whole lot more to offer."

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

He said Zoot was at the inauguration of new University of Dayton President Eric Spina Tuesday and is gearing up for a collaboration with Stivers School of the Arts in Dayton April 27.

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Cupp said the company plans to dig in this summer.

There are plans to do more in “neighborhoods that are hurting and offering a different reality,” he said.

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