Last November, the City of Orlando terminated its lease agreement with Mad Cow Theatre (Facebook Website) over an outstanding debt owed for their space in the Church Street Market building at 54 W. Church Street [GMap] but at the time of this post, the theater was still operating in-place, with programming scheduled through July 24, 2022.

The theater has subleased its theater since 2011, when it entered into an agreement with the City, which paid $480,000 for the buildout of the space for their use, with a pledge to repay the funds with 5% interest in four incremental payments. Since then, they only paid a portion of what was due and there is an outstanding balance of $426,592.74.

Mad Cow also failed to pay an allegedly agreed-upon monthly charge associated with the use of the space that paid for security services and a common area maintenance fee amounting to $2,029.04. In total, they owed an estimated $121,742.40 in unpaid monthly charges by the time they were notified of their lease termination.

Mad Cow has since disputed that it owes the payments as part of its funding agreement and refused to leave the theater. Since they were issued a Termination of Lease letter last year, they have negotiated a settlement agreement where they agree to leave and surrender possession of the premises on and before May 31, 2022, in exchange for the City of Orlando and the CRA to forgive the debt owed under the original agreement, including the maintenance fees. Mad Cow will be required to leave certain property and equipment behind so that it can continue to be operated as a performing arts space under a new operator – likely Orlando Fringe.

If Mad Cow fails to exit the premises y May 31, 2022, the City Attorney’s Office will be authorized to file suit for eviction and recovery of the amounts owed.

You can see the full Forbearance Settlement Agreement below.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. Phwar, deeeeeep. Whomever takes over would be missing out if they didn’t create a theatre production about this saga.
    It can be done!!!