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Mad Cow Theatre may lose downtown Orlando home

Mad Cow Theatre publicity photo. Image courtesy of Church Street District

Mad Cow Theatre publicity photo. Image courtesy of Church Street District

Mad Cow Theatre may lose its performance space in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Records show Mad Cow got a letter from a city attorney, saying the theatre breached its contract with Orlando’s government. Although the theatre pays no monthly rent, it is expected to pay about two thousand dollars per month in fees…and those fees haven’t been paid in five years.

The letter – dated October 20th – said Mad Cow had ten days to pay nearly $122,000 in overdue fees, or the city could end Mad Cow’s lease.

City officials say they may not evict the theatre group immediately, but there are early talks with Orlando Fringe Festival leaders about taking over the space for up-and-coming theatre groups.

Mad Cow is rehearsing a drama called “The Royale,” and still plans to open the play in mid-November. The company says it remains in contact with the city, but offered no details.

Mad Cow’s leadership has been embroiled in controversy after former cast and crew members complained of delayed or no pay, an accusation that has dogged the theatre on and off for at least five years.

Additionally, the Central Florida Entertainment Advocacy group has issued a “Do Not Work” advisory against Mad Cow for issues around pay, pay equity, and a lack of diversity and inclusion in Mad Cow’s hiring practices.

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Nicole Darden Creston

About Nicole Darden Creston

All Things Considered Host and Reporter

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from ... Read Full Bio »