Letter to the Editor: Burroughs Vocal Music Director Says Communication With City Sloppy and Unprofessional


Letter to the Editor:

I read the recent letter from Suzanne Weerts that discussed the city’s recent RFP for the operation of the Burbank Center Stage (currently known as The Colony Theater). I felt I needed to write to offer the frustrating perspective of an applicant in that process.

I became aware of the Request for Proposals in December 2022 and quickly started discussions with local theater colleagues about the great possibilities that I believe exist for that space. A group of us decided to move forward under the banner of After Hours Theater Company to offer a proposal. After many, many hours of strategic planning and writing, we turned our proposal in on February 10, 2023. This included following a number of very specific instructions including signing certain documents in blue ink and hand delivering numerous physical copies to their office in addition to submitting via the online portal.

The only response we got, aside from the e-confirmation that our bid had been received in the online system, was an automated email that said interviews would be the week of March 27-30, 2023 and that each proposer would be contacted prior to set up a date/time for their interview. After hearing nothing all the way up to March 28th, I called the office to inquire and was told they would check and get back to me. When they called us back, they informed us that our application had been “flagged as non-responsive” and removed from consideration. They said the automated email did not mean that WE were getting an interview, just that interviews were going to occur. According to the staff member on the call, we missed a financial document. We feel strongly that we included everything they requested, but she would not clarify specifically what was missed or why they were considering us “non-responsive” when no communication was ever sent to us.

Considering the sloppy and unprofessional way our application was handled, it is then no surprise that the entire process has been a disaster. I can certainly believe that the city is under-staffed given the current climate, however, why not then utilize your own resources in the Cultural Arts Commission to follow through on a process that you created?

There are theater spaces disappearing all over Los Angeles. It would be a huge shame if the City of Burbank did not step up and ensure that the Burbank Center Stage remain a vital arts venue for the community.

Brendan Jennings
Vocal Music Director
John Burroughs High School 


    1. Mr. Jennings:

      This report is one of the many reasons why taxpayers should not be responsible for the cost of owning/managing/operating a theater. Bad idea and very expensive.

      I invite my fellow taxpayers to join me in demanding that this property be sold off and let a nonprofit or private company handle/manage/deal with it. It is nothing but a money pit for taxpayers in Burbank. Well-meaning but a money pit.

      I have lived here 32 years and I see no good coming from the City continuing to manage taxpayer assets in this way.

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