Center Theatre Group lays off 12

Various departments affected by cutbacks

The Center Theatre Group, which produces subscription seasons at the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles and at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, laid off 12 full-time staff members this week.

Remaining employees will take one or two weeks of unpaid furlough during the coming year.

According to artistic director Michael Ritchie, the dismissals were spread among various departments. Ritchie declined to confirm individuals included in the cutbacks, but veteran publicist Ken Werther and associate producer Ann Wareham reportedly were among those pink-slipped.

Two programming shifts previously announced for the current season were made in response to economic challenges. The Kirk Douglas' planned premiere of "Heddatron," an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler," was postponed indefinitely, and the Taper's production of "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" was rescheduled for next season.

Ritchie said no additional season changes are planned.