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Thursday, July 9th - Morrisburg’s Upper Canada Playhouse continues to abide by this tried and true advice in cancelling, earlier than planned, its Fall productions of 20-20 Rear Vision and The Highwaymen. In addition the Winter production of A Christmas Carol has also been cancelled. The Playhouse Box Office has begun contacting all patrons who have booked these shows.
"It’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it." stresses Artistic Director Donnie Bowes, "All of our theatre colleagues in the industry have come to the same conclusion. It’s just too early to open our doors.’
Bowes emphasizes that, although our country has been making great strides to protect us all from the effects of this pandemic, the nature of live performance and events presents many inherent challenges we all need to recognize and solve in order to protect ourselves and each other. These challenges include finding ways for audiences to share a common space safely, for actors and technicians to rehearse and perform safely and for staff to be able to effectively accommodate and co-ordinate all of these components safely.
Playhouse 2021 Season! Something to look forward to!
The Playhouse has a loyal and sup-portive community and in turn takes great pride in making a substantial cultural and economic contribution to that same community. The Playhouse intends to keep doing just that.
The Playhouse is planning an exciting and entertaining line-up for 2021, delivered with the health and safety measures and entertainment content that audiences expect, deserve and can count on. The theatre’s new 2021 Season will be announced to all patrons and the general public in January and the Box Office will begin to take bookings at that time.
This will give The Playhouse a better idea of the number of seats they will actually be able to sell per show in response to any updated health & safety protocols.
Although very similar to the 2020 cancelled season, 2021 will feature some necessary alterations to account for its reduced audience capacity. There will be some show changes, a revised season schedule, an earlier start to the season and longer runs for each show to accommodate as many of our patrons as possible.
So What’s Going on at The Playhouse These Days?
One might think that all activity has ceased at The Playhouse. But there is actually a lot going on. The industry is working hard to create innovative and effective ways to deal with all of this. The Playhouse is doing that as well and, as one of the Province’s very successful theatre companies, is very much a part of that industry discussion and work. Besides customer service and venue management, onsite preparations are being made to provide for the various safety protocols the venue will be implementing when re-opening.
Theatre staff is actively participating in continuous conference calls and consultations with other theatre companies, professional theatre associations, audience polling systems and Governmental health and safety agencies via Zoom and other forms of communication. From this extensive, ongoing and constantly evolving sharing of information, The Playhouse is developing a variety of season models to accommodate the economic and safety protocol impacts that possible future scenarios may have on the theatre.
Don’t Worry! Live Professional Theatre & Music Will Always Survive!
"One of the aspects of the pandemic is that it’s made the world a smaller place," says Bowes, adding, "Everyone is experiencing the same challenges. The theatre world is no exception. It’s a particularly challenged sector and the inherent issues we face as a live performance experience are shared by theatre companies across this country and globally. Our stages are as dark as those on Broadway, where many of us have friends in shows like Come From Away, whose doors were shuttered and lights were turned off the same week as ours."
But another thing theatres and audiences all share is the tenacity to be patient, resourceful and committed to finding solutions to the challenges of opening our doors, lighting our stages and creating live theatre and music again in a way that is safe for all of us.
We’ll be back. Stay safe & stay tuned!