Budget Cut Forces Cancellation of Spring Play


By Tania Diaz

College of Southern Nevada’s performing arts department was forced to cancel “Our Country’s Good” due to budget cuts.

CSN’s President Michael Richards sent an email to faculty stating that each department would take a budget cut for the academic year, according to Richard McGee, department chair of fine arts.

McGee said, “From the very first time I saw that email I knew that we were going to need to cut something. At that point I hadn’t really decided on cutting that play but within a week or two it became obvious that was where we were going to have to make the cut.”

According to McGee, the average play costs CSN approximately $10,000 to $15,000 to produce while a dance performance costs $2,000 and a music show only $400. The budgeted amount to produce our “Our Country’s Good” was $18,300. It was necessary to trim one of the larger expenses.

“We can fund all of our activities for the spring for far less than one play costs,” McGee said.

McGee decided to cancel the play before winter break. It was a tough decision for him because he knows many students study theater at CSN due to its active performance schedule.

CSN student and performing arts major Gabrielle Silveroli was one of the students affected by the cancellation. Silveroli was casted as Dabby Bryant, one of the leading roles in “Our Country’s Good.”

“I was shocked because just prior to the news I was celebrating getting casted as the female lead,” Silveroli said. “I found out it got canceled literally three days after.”

Other students were also affected by the cut.

“I went to my first play last year and I enjoyed it,” CSN student Erna Husic said. “I was looking forward to going to another one this semester but it looks like I won’t be able to. All of the students are so talented and you can tell they put their hearts into it. It’s really sad that the play had to be cut.”

Although the loss of the play weighs heavy on McGee, he is hopeful that next fall CSN will return to a stellar season with three plays.

“We are working on formalizing to maximize everyone’s talents,” McGee said. “Assuming the budget is there, we can expect many new exciting things to come out of theater. With the little known fact that CSN has two of the very best performance spaces in town with Horn Theatre and the Backstage Theatre there will be no stopping this program once it gets rolling.”

Until the return of the plays, people can enjoy other CSN performances including jazz, orchestra, mariachi, steel drum and dance concerts.

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