The fear of low ticket sales has postponed a production of the play “I put the fear of Mexico in ‘em.” The GALA Hispanic Theatre in Columbia Heights scheduled the play April 11 to April 29, but postponed it after the theater lost some of its public funding.

GALA Hispanic Theatre was founded in 1976 by Hugo Medrano, left, and Rebecca Read Medrano. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

“I put the fear” is about an American couple who crosses the border to Tijuana on vacation and is accosted by a Mexican couple. The show takes on immigration, a topic GALA worried wouldn’t resonate with audiences enough for ticket sales to make up for the lack of funding.

Given the current economic situation, Medrano explained, GALA needed to focus on works that were more appealing to a wider audience. “If it’s not a subject that everyone knows about well, and if it’s not a well-known author, it’s a little more risky.” (“I put the fear” is by Matthew Paul Olmos.)

GALA is still “committed to doing that piece [and] plays that deal with difficult issues,” Medrano said, but “replacing it with things that are a little easier for the audience to wrap their heads around is a smarter business decision for us... We have to weigh [everything] and act responsibly.”

In its place, GALA has planned three productions: “Five hours with Mario,” a one-woman show based in the 1960s in which a woman speaks next to the body of her deceased husband, “Occupy GALA,” two nights of Latino music and performances featuring local bands, and “Puro Tango,” a tango music, song and dance performance.

Patrons with questions can reach the theater at 202-234-7174.