MONTREAL (AP) -- The world-renowned Cirque du soleil circus troupe is laying off 400 people — most of them at its Montreal headquarters.
A company spokeswoman announced the layoffs on Wednesday after Cirque executives met with employees in Montreal.
Increased production costs and expenses are being blamed for the layoffs, which will begin by the end of the month.
The Cirque employs about 5,000 people worldwide, including 2,000 in Montreal.
It still has 19 productions being presented worldwide and is currently working on a new show that will open in May in Las Vegas.
Another touring production that will open in the spring of 2014 in Montreal is also in the works.
But four shows besides the 19 that are still on stage have closed recently.
- Cirque du soleil