Pittsboro Youth Theater co-founders opt to sell business, cite financial hardship


PITTSBORO — After 10 years of providing a home on the stage to youth across Pittsboro and the entire Chatham community, Tammy Matthews and Craig Witter have decided to sell Pittsboro Youth Theater.

The couple announced the intention to sell the business after returning from a stellar performance at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta where PYT earned multiple awards for their performances of Peter Pan Jr.

Matthews and Witter said they no longer have the financial resources or “personal energies” to continue the program.

“We are very sorry that our decision to close Pittsboro Youth Theater will cause sadness for a great many kids, parents and other supporters,” the couple wrote on the PYT website. “We love you very much.”

The impending sale of the business means all spring 2023 shows at PYT will be canceled and deposits made for those shows will be refunded to supporters.

PYT was also intending to move into a new space in Bynum — North Chatham Performing Arts Center — later this year. The co-founders had been fundraising for the move to the new facility but fell short of their fundraising goal. They said, however, they hope the future buyers will continue with NCPAC, and that all donations made toward the effort will go to the new owners.

“If no buyer is found who wants to continue with NCPAC by Feb. 20, 2023, then all donations made to help build NCPCAC will be refunded to those who donated as soon as possible thereafter,” Witter said.

All assets of PYT are currently for sale, according to the organization’s website. This includes the theater company, Center for the Arts Music School, the 15-year lease on the unfinished NCPAC facility and all necessary equipment for continuing operations.

Taking on the lease for NCPAC would be $3,000 per month with a 1% annual increase for the duration of the lease for the 5,000-square-foot building.

Witter said he aims to have the business sold by Feb. 20. According to the overview of sale plans, PYT hopes to sell the assets in bulk, rather than individually. He said the goal of the sale is to transfer ownership to “new, younger and more capable owners and/or operational staff.”

In the pitch to potential buyers, PYT said its currently has close to zero debt because the entire effort has been self-funded by Matthews and Witter.

“We’re sorry that things came to this so suddenly, and we hope that we can find some way for PYT to continue to provide services to our patrons soon,” Matthews and Witter wrote.

For more information on the sale visit www.pittsboroyouththeater.com. For serious sale inquiries contact Craig Witter at CFTA.Cwitter1@gmail.com.

Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at brappaport@chathamnr.com or on Twitter @b_rappaport.

Pittsboro Youth Theater, business sale, Craig Witter, Tammy Matthews


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