The board of directors of A Portable Theatre Inc., a professional touring company based in Columbus, announced last week the troupe will cease operations.

The board of directors of A Portable Theatre Inc., a professional touring company based in Columbus, announced last week the troupe will cease operations.

What turned out to be the organization's final performance, Jeffrey Hatcher's "A Picasso," took place July 8 in the Columbus Museum of Art.

A Portable Theatre, as the name suggests, moved its productions to locales on the Northwest Side, the Northland area and in Clintonville, among others.

"The company toured its productions over a period of four years to many venues, including churches, corporate boardrooms, private residences, retirement communities, colleges and local stages throughout Ohio," according to the announcement from Diana Vance, board president.

In addition to "A Picasso," the company produced "The Duck Variations" by David Mamet, "Pierce to the Soul" by Chiquita Mullins Lee, "Talking Heads" by Alan Bennett, "Tales from the Grave" adapted by Geoffrey Nelson and "Every Christmas Show Ever Told (And Then Some)" by John K. Alvarez, Michael Carleton and James FitzGerald.

The organization was supported by grants from the Hazelbaker Foundation, the Columbus Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

Even though the theater group enjoyed critical success, financial stability and audience support, the board reluctantly voted to disband after learning volunteer artistic director and founder Geoffrey Nelson was moving to another state, according to the announcement.

"In addition, last September, APT suffered the untimely passing of Board President Cheri Mitchell," Vance said in a statement. "We lost a dear friend with a deep background in arts administration."

Theater group officials said the board is working with the Columbus Foundation to distribute its remaining assets to local theater companies aligned with A Portable Theatre's mission to make professional theater available on an affordable basis to a broad audience.