ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A longtime New Mexico theatre company is closing its doors amid the coronavirus pandemic. The organization, Tricklock Company, is no stranger to Albuquerque’s entertainment scene.
“Tricklock started in 1993,” said Juli Hendren, Executive Director of Tricklock Company. “We were a group of young artists just sort of wanting to create our own work.”
The local nonprofit arts organization supports theatrical work and performing arts around the world. A big part of that is their annual Revolutions Festival.
“It’s a three-week international theatre festival bringing work from all over the world here,” said Hendren. “Workshops and gatherings and performances and things like that.”
In March, they were just a few days into their 20th festival when COVID-19 hit. With many international guests in town, they had to make big changes quickly.
“It was really a mad scramble to try and get everybody home and get everybody home before they had to be quarantine,” said Hendren, also noting that meant re-arranging flights for artists who were coming into town or already here, everywhere from Uganda to the United Kingdom. “Cancel all those tickets and get no refunds and then purchase tickets for them from Brisbane back to London.”
They also needed to pay the staff and artists who relied on the festival’s revenue. With no ticket sales or donations, this left the nonprofit with a lot of debt and no relief.
“We can’t gather. We can’t do a big fundraiser and have a guest artist come out, help us out,” said Hendren. “We can’t do anything, really.”
Not getting a government relief grant was the final blow, and last week, the company made the difficult decision to close and leave their longtime performance space, the T-Lab. While crushed, they say they’re thankful for the support of New Mexicans over the years and hope to return to the stage in a few years.
“We’re really really hopeful that we can come back in 2022 but it will not be in any way shape or form at the same size that we once were,” said Hendren. “We kind of piece it together but this was such a big hit. It’s just crushed us.”
They say until then, they’re open to any suggestions or helping hands here in Albuquerque. Tricklock Company has opened their website to donations for anyone who wishes to help during this time.