No More Exchange

Barely into its sixth season, Exchange Theatre, a small stage company that presented new and classic European plays at Seattle Public Theater's Bathhouse on Greenlake, is calling it quits. While finances have always been tight, the troupe recently ran too short of money, staff, and volunteers to continue, according to Sally Brady. "It's a bitter pill to swallow, that audiences must not want to see plays 'rarely seen in this area' (part of our mission statement), and would prefer to see the seventh or eighth production of Noises Off or other familiar fare," she commented. "We had a fringe company in London and did American plays. . . . Over there, a play needs good word of mouth and you're off and running. Not so in the Northwest of the U.S." Exchange's final production was the U.S. premiere of Peter Whelan's The Accrington Pals, which closed Nov. 27. LYNN JACOBSON


Helping Seattle Opera get back on its customary balanced-budget track after last July's announcement of a $280K shortfall will be Katherine Anderson, joining the company in the newly created position of chief financial officer. The former VP and controller for First Interstate Bank of Washington will oversee a budget of approximately $20 million ($18.5 million in 2004–05), manage software accounting systems, prepare financial reports, and basically keep a very close eye on the bottom line. GAVIN BORCHERT


All-ages venue the Vera Project will close Jan. 1 for a month-long hiatus while moving to an as-yet-unannounced long-term space, and is forming "an interim plan to accommodate the elusiveness of construction deadlines," says programming director Shannon Stewart.The last of Vera's three founding members, Stewart will depart Feb. 28 to join a San Francisco company that will develop "nationwide youth/music/activism centers." Longtime Vera volunteer Melissa Quayle has been chosen to fill Stewart's formidable shoes, a job for which she is well prepared. Quayle's first experiences learning about the music business at Vera led her to a production management job at the Capitol Hill nightclub Neumo's, followed by a marketing gig with hip-hop collective Jasiri Media Group. RACHEL SHIMP

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