According to an article by NorthJersey.com, Mark W. Jones, director of the Paper Mill Playhouse, resigned from the Millburn theater on June 24.
Jones was the force that helped with the Paper Mill's real estate deal with the township which helped to save the theater from financial problems. Prior to the Paper Mill Playhouse, Jones had helped at the Shakespeare Festival in Lenox, Mass.
The Paper Mill was purchased for $9.1 million by the Millburn Township Committee and in June 2008 they offered to lease back the theater for 75 years. The theater used $4 million of the purchase to pay off debt and close a gap in the budget.
In April 2007, the theater was hurting due to the economy and reached out to the public for donations and to the state for an emergency state grant. The $1 million they earned let the theater finish up the last two shows of that season.
While he was at the Paper Mill, Jones helped cut expenses by closing the scene shop in Edison and laying off eight full-time and 15 part-time employees. The theater performed five shows instead of 6 and the productions were trimmed down to four weeks. Wages were frozen and benefits reduced.
In the summer of 2009, the theater experienced more difficulties when the New Jersey State Council on the Arts cut their funding to the theater by 20 percent.
The non-for-profit theatre balances their budget through ticket sales and subscriptions, and contributions, including donations and grants.
Artistic Director, Mark Hoebee, is set to be the interim executive director.
For the original NorthJersey.com article visit online at www.northjersey.com.
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