The Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater, dealing with important monetary challenges, introduced that it was shedding workers members on Tuesday, together with a lot of its gross sales and advertising and marketing groups.
The theater, which has 4 areas, together with the flagship that opened in Hell’s Kitchen final 12 months, has struggled in its new location, partially due to elevated competitors and excessive rents.
“After much thought and careful consideration, we have decided to streamline our business entities, focusing our efforts on the cornerstone of our organization: our school programs and our theaters, while downsizing some of our digital and sales and marketing initiatives,” U.C.B. mentioned in an announcement. “This will enable us to grow our programs and theaters in a way that our community has come to expect from U.C.B. without having to compromise the very heart and soul of this organization. We strongly believe that redoubling our efforts and returning to our roots is not only the right thing to do for the organization but also for our current and future students, performers, and audience members.”
The theater didn’t say what number of workers members had been reduce, however a majority had been New York-based. Some staff discovered early Tuesday in regards to the layoffs, in line with a now-deleted put up on Twitter from one employee who misplaced his job. A spokeswoman for the theater mentioned that courses and lecturers wouldn’t be affected.
Last 12 months, U.C.B. started raising ticket prices, which represent a nominal source of revenue. Much more important are the fees it charges for comedy classes, which can be more than $500 for Improv 101.
U.C.B. performers — whether improv or sketch — typically do not get paid, a sore point among many in improv. It was only this summer — as reported by Paste Magazine — that the theater announced it would begin paying coaches of some performers.
What started in the 1990s as a scrappy troupe founded by Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh and Matt Besser eventually became an institution in New York City and beyond, helping propel the careers of many A-list comedians, including Donald Glover and Chris Gethard.
The founders opened a second Manhattan theater — U.C.B. East in the East Village — and two in Los Angeles.
When the founders, known as the “U.C.B. 4,” first arrived, long-form improv was hard to find in New York. Now, with competitors like the Peoples Improv Theater and the Magnet Theater, competition is more fierce.
Another New York improv outlet, the Annoyance Theater in Brooklyn, closed last year, but a spokeswoman for U.C.B. said the theater was not in danger of shutting down.