Important Update from Theater Alliance

(Monday, April 15, 2024) – Theater Alliance is heartbroken to announce that after 12 years as the professional company in residence, we have been forced out of the Anacostia Playhouse.

In February, Theater Alliance discovered, through a posted eviction notice on the door, that the Anacostia Playhouse had not paid any rent to the property owner from October 2023 to January 2024. During this time, Theater Alliance had continued paying our monthly rent–which constitutes the majority of the monthly rent payment for the building–to the DC Theatre Arts Collaborative, d.b.a. The Anacostia Playhouse. The Anacostia Playhouse neither notified Theater Alliance of its failure to pay rent, nor did it use the funds paid by Theater Alliance for the intended purpose.

Theater Alliance then discovered that Anacostia Playhouse had no legal authority to enter into a sublease with Theater Alliance at all; the lease that the Playhouse holds with the property owner expressly forbids precisely this kind of long-term sublease. And apart from the legal rights that Anacostia Playhouse sold but never delivered, we learned that Anacostia Playhouse was purporting to lease and encourage the use of a property without permits for safety, improvements, and occupancy. On notice of the unlawful sublease, the owner of the property declared it void and unenforceable, notwithstanding years of timely rent payments and investments by Theater Alliance. The result was substantial liability imposed on Theater Alliance by Anacostia Playhouse’s misconduct. 

The Anacostia Playhouse’s lack of transparency has greatly betrayed and damaged the trust we had put in that organization unquestioningly over the years. Anacostia Playhouse’s years-long malfeasance has exposed Theater Alliance, as well as its staff, artists, and property, to material risks, including disputes related to our insurance policies in connection with a repudiated and unenforceable lease agreement. 

Despite our shock at learning about this grave mismanagement and betrayal of trust, we made every effort to resolve the issue through discussions between the organizations’ respective boards, including a proposal for Theater Alliance to take over responsibility for the management activities Anacostia Playhouse had failed to handle. However, on the evening of April 10th, Anacostia Playhouse informed us of its decision to cease further talks, to fully and finally terminate our relationship, and requested removal of all Theater Alliance property, while inviting a “smooth transition.”  Anacostia Playhouse then rescinded that invitation immediately, when it seized all of Theater Alliance’s property, locked us out, and prevented our staff from accessing even their own personal belongings.  Sadly, such behavior only reinforces that, under the current leadership, a future with Anacostia Playhouse is impossible. 

We will keep our community informed as we navigate this transition. We have built a legacy of work in Anacostia for more than a decade; we are dedicated to our community and our home theater in Ward 8. We would cherish the opportunity to return to our community in a dedicated space, but until then, we are committed to finding a new home where we can continue our mission to produce high-quality, socially conscious theater for all.

We welcome your ideas, suggestions, and support as we focus on finding a new home. You can reach us at and we look forward to hearing from you.

Theater Alliance will continue to thrive. We are strong, agile, and unified as we look towards the future. We will be sharing regular updates via email as we navigate this transition; you can sign up to receive updates here