Musical company

Lexington-based AthensWest Theater Company closes after eight years

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) — After eight years, the AthensWest Theater Company has announced its final act. The band had two successful productions this year, but people at the company said they had to shut down.

“Theatres come and go. We had hoped to create a theater that would last and be an institution for our community. I believe for eight years we did that,” said Bo List, the Artistic Director Producer of AthensWest Theater Company.

The company lowers the curtain one last time.

“We were on a really wonderful track until the pandemic started. What we’ve always intended to do is put our money where our mouth was and as much of our resources as possible directly on stage. Hoping that our human resources will eventually catch up to that,” List said.

List said they tried to pivot during the pandemic and even started playing parts on WUKY. But that just wasn’t enough. They can no longer afford to hire full-time staff.

“One of the characteristics of theater is that it is an ephemeral art form. Unlike cinema, unlike visual arts, you can’t enjoy it over and over again in the same way as when you first experienced it,” List said.

But the memories created last. The same goes for the skills of each person who has worked on one of the company’s 17 shows over the years.

“Our AthensWest may be coming to an end, but a lot of people who started early here are just starting their careers and we couldn’t be more excited for them,” List said.

List said he remains hopeful.

“I know another theater will come. Hopefully it picks up where we left off and does even better. I will be there wholeheartedly ready to support him no matter what,” List said.

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

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