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Arts: American Cabaret Theatre leaves the Athanaeum


The American Cabaret Theatre has announced a major shake-up that brings in new leadership for the organization and a new location -- that's yet to be determined.

In a press release issued by ACT board president Barbara Weaver Smith, the organization declared that it would be leaving its long-time home in the historic Athenaeum Building in the Mass Ave Cultural District. "The space has served us well," Smith is quoted as saying, "however rising lease fees, restrictions that exclude ACT from receiving beverage revenues, and sound issues from outdoor concerts have made this no longer a viable space for the organization."

ACT says it will announce a new venue "in the coming weeks."

ACT will also eliminate four full-time staff positions, including Artistic Director Bob Harbin. Veteran cabaret performer Shannon Forsell has been named Managing Director.

The ACT Board is calling these developments a "new era" for the theater, which they are calling "Rediscover Cabaret." Forsell is quoted: "The theatre is returning to its roots but also making changes to reflect current audience trends. ACT will produce smaller, more intimate and authentic cabaret shows, shows more true to the cabaret art form."


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