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Palm Beach Children’s Chorus evicted ahead of holiday performance

Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 22:32:37-05

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — A Palm Beach Gardens theater where music often fills the halls is now quiet and in disarray after the property owner is evicting the children’s group.

Friday was supposed to be opening night of their Willy Wonka the musical, instead, the choir director and members spent the day packing up props and taking apart the stage.

“It’s unfair that they are in this situation. It’s not fair to the kids or the teachers or anybody who has put so much into this,” said parent Stephaine Smith.

The director of Palm Beach Children’s Choir says they signed a new lease earlier this year and a month into the 1-year contract they were given an eviction notice. Drury Development Corp. based in St.Louis, MO owns the property. NewsChannel 5 reached out to learn more and we are still waiting to hear back.

“We supposedly we have the same interest at heart which is children but I find it very disturbing that they are not advocating the rights of children by kicking us out,” said Executive artistic director Sandi Russell.

Russell says they aren’t being evicted for lack of payment, rather a code violation she says the property owner refuses to fix.

“ We utilize this space as a cultural arts center for PBG so it’s just not our children but many organizations alike that rely on this facility,” said Amisha Russell.

While the issue plays out in the courts, this group is praying for a Christmas miracle.

“We were really looking forward to this show so however, we could get help would be awesome,” said performer Sadie Smith.

Although this weekend’s shows are postponed the group is optimistic they will be able to perform somewhere soon.