Tres School for the Arts closed but 'need' is here

October 23, 1997


Staff Writer

Tres School for the Arts closed its doors at the end of July after two years because of financial constraints, Artistic Director William E. Morris said Tuesday.

Morris said he is looking for a new downtown location for the performing arts school because the 7 S. Potomac St. building is no longer affordable.

Whether the school will reopen is unknown, although Morris said he is working toward that goal.

"There's definitely a need for it in the county," he said.

Not enough students enrolled for the fall semester to pay the rent and utilities, which total more than $2,000 a month, Morris said.


There are more activities in the area for youths now than when the school opened in the fall of 1995, Morris said. He cited the ice rink at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds as an example.

The school expects to be out of the building by the end of October. Rent is $1,100 a month for the building owned by Vincent Groh, he said.

Morris said he is looking for a smaller space with room for classes and a studio. The school doesn't need a theater, which the 7 S. Potomac St. building has, he said.

The Escapade Theatre Co., which also was run by Morris and Susan Rowe, made money from the July production of the "Wizard of Oz," but not enough to keep the school operating until next summer's production, Morris said. The theater company is still operating and planning next summer's production.

The school hasn't received official nonprofit status, contributing to the financial woes, Morris said.

Many major corporations didn't want to donate money because the school did not have nonprofit status, he said.

The number of registered students at any one time ranged from 20 to more than 100, he said.

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