New Playwrights' Theater, warned by a D.C. fire inspector that its building would not pass a formal inspection, has voluntarily closed its theater at 1742 Church St. NW, canceling current performances of "Splendid Rebels."
NPC plans to resume the new Ernest Joselovitz drama about Emma Golman Tuesday night at 8 in the American Theater of L'Enfant Plaza SW, where the Tuesday-Sunday schedule will be maintained through Dec. 31.
The group's new production of "A Christmas Carol" will have a special series of performances in L'Enfant Plaza, mostly matinees, to open Dec. 22 and run through the 29th.
Co-founder and producing director Harry Bagdasian yesterday explained NPT's predicament:
"Following our successful zoning petition six months ago, building inspectors came-but we have not yet received a report on their findins. However, the fire inspector's daytime visit indicated to us that should we attempt to play to audiences in our 125-seat theater, he would be forced to close us.
"Naturally, we have taken the quickest possible action and feel fortunate that the L'Enfant Plaza Corporation has been so helphful in our request to use its American Theater." The theater seats 700.
Bagdasian said that "as for the future, we hope to make the building on Church Street perfect in to make the building on Church Street perfect in all respects. Our board of trustees immediately volunteered cash to see us through this temporary move."
He said that a special drive for renovation funds would be launched, seeking about $30,000.
"We have been made to feel we're a part of the increasingly lively Dupont Circle area," Bagdasian remarked, "and hope to be back in action on Church Street as soon as possible. Meantime our office and phone reservation service continues right where it's been."