COVID-19 UPDATE: Please check with individual organizations and venues for specific requirements regarding health precautions.
UPDATE: The Utah Shakespeare Festival announced today it will cancel its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Festival announced a revised season on April 13, there are simply too many obstacles to overcome. The safety and health of the Festival’s staff, artists, audiences and community guided this difficult but necessary decision.
“This is a direct result of the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on performing arts,” said Frank Mack, executive producer. “When we announced our revised season, we indicated that we would cancel our season if we had to, and sadly it has come to that.”
The season had been planned for July 9 through Sept. 5 featuring five shows playing in rotating repertory and a free greenshow.
Among the myriad challenges facing the season, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional actors and stage managers, will not be extending contracts to professional theatres until their new safety protocols are written and implemented, a decision the Festival fully supports. The Festival planned to start rehearsals June 15 and requested information from AEA on the availability of contracts last week. On May 8 the Festival received this statement from the director of the Western Region of AEA: “At this time in the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape is continuing to change in scientific knowledge regarding the contagion and avoidance of this disease. And as you are aware, we have very recently contracted Dr. David Michaels to as
After careful consideration and consultation from public health officials, the Utah Shakespeare Festival is moving forward with plans to produce a 2020 season. Necessary changes to ensure a safe and quality experience include producing fewer shows, modifying the schedule to start later in the summer and altering show designs.
Along with the season adjustments, the Festival will also mitigate health risks through a variety of methods some of which include implementing numerous hand sanitizing stations, increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures and strategic audience seating. As company members arrive in Cedar City they will self-quarantine for two-weeks and follow guidance offered by public health officials.
In order to present the outlined season, the Festival will limit building sets, props, lights and costumes for each show and focus on innovating storytelling and powerful acting. All productions will be fully rehearsed and feature a full company of outstanding professional actors, dancers and singers.
The Festival will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely as it is impossible to know for certain what conditions will be like in July and August. The decision to move forward with an altered season was made under consultation with state officials, local health experts and SUU administration. The Festival will continue to work with these entities, and if conditions are not satisfactory the season will be cancelled and all tickets refunded.
For additional information, please visit: https://www.bard.org/news/curtain-will-rise