Shakespeare & Company Postpones 2020 Summer Season
LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company is postponing its 2020 summer season to next summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced Tuesday.
This unanimous decision from the board of trustees, Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Managing Director Adam Davis reflects the commitment to the health and safety of company patrons, artists, staff, students, volunteers, and extended community as the company's highest priority.
The company intends to move as many of the productions planned between May and September 2020 as it can to 2021, including "King Lear" with Christopher Lloyd and the outdoor production of "Much Ado About Nothing" in the Roman Garden Theatre.
"Our first thoughts go to those whose lives have been ravaged by COVID-19 and the families who have had loved ones taken by this devastating virus," Burrows said. "The unpredictability of its path and outcome leaves us no alternative but to shift our programming to next year. When it is safe to convene and the all-clear is sounded, we'll welcome our audience back to Shakespeare & Company to celebrate humanity, language and the joy of sharing stories."
"While we are deeply saddened to postpone our season, the safety of our patrons, actors, staff, and all others who elevate this wonderful organization must come first,” board Chairman Ken Werner said. "Given the profound impact the postponement of our season will have on our finances, I hope everyone who has bought tickets for this season, that is able to do so, will join me in donating them to the company to help us emerge from this crisis in the strongest position possible.”
In addition to the main performance season, the company is canceling its summer Education and Actor Training programs, including Riotous Youth, Summer Conservatory, and the Summer Shakespeare Intensive. At this time, the company plans to proceed with The Fall Festival of Shakespeare, the December production of "Emma," The Northeast Regional Tour, and the Month-Long Intensive as scheduled.
"This is a difficult decision for us because we understand the impact and importance arts and cultural organizations have on the region," Davis said. "Shakespeare & Company is a proud part of an active and vibrant community, which now faces challenging and unprecedented times. We will continue to work with our colleagues and collaborators here in the Berkshires to support each other, and we look forward to the time when we can all gather again."
The 2020 Gala, honoring Shakespeare & Company Founding Member and Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman for his work as an actor, director and educator, has been rescheduled from June 27 to Oct. 10. For additional gala information or to reserve seats, call 413-637-1199, ext. 105.
"The solace we can take from this interruption is that we will see you again," Burrows said. "Just as Shakespeare endured two plagues in one decade to produce some of his most brilliant work, we will get to the other side of this. In the meantime we urge you to take care of yourselves, to be safe, and to encourage others to do the same."
Additional details about Shakespeare & Company's 2020 fall and winter programming will be announced later this spring. Shakespeare & Company hopes current ticket holders will consider converting their purchases to a tax-deductible donation to assist the company with the financial strain of postponing its performances. Other options are to convert purchases into credit for shows through December 2021 or to request a refund.The 2020 FlexPass has been extended through 2021. A special form for ticket changes is available online.
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