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Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Washington, D.C.: Following the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and the D.C. Health Department, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s theatres and workspaces remain closed. STC is announcing proactive measures to buttress the District’s premier classical theatre company during this time of national crisis.
Shakespeare Theatre Company has canceled the presentation of Romantics Anonymous and postponed Much Ado About Nothing. This year’s Free For All production, a remounting of The Comedy of Errors, originally scheduled for July 28-August 9, has also been canceled.
Written by Emma Rice and with a cast of talented U.K. actors, Romantics Anonymous was scheduled to run from April 7 to May 17 at the Michael R. Klein Theatre at the Lansburgh. Simon Godwin’s Much Ado About Nothing (originally scheduled for May 5-June 14) will move to the 2020/21 Season, replacing As You Like It. Ticket holders will be contacted by Box Office to find the most suitable arrangements for them. Specific performance dates for the run will be announced later.
Will on the Hill, the annual fundraiser celebrating bipartisanship and arts education, has been rescheduled for Monday, September 14. In addition, other programming, such as Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff and Chamber Dance’s New Works 2020 have both been postponed. New dates will be shared as soon as possible.
“The cancellation of the remainder of Simon Godwin’s first season as Artistic Director as well as this summer’s Free For All were difficult decisions,” Executive Director CHRIS JENNINGS states, “but they’re the right decisions. Assembling artists, the design team and staff necessary to mount fully realized productions isn’t feasible at this time. It’s vital that we do what we can to protect everyone’s health and safety.”
“In the theatre, we always declare ‘the show must go on,’ but this is an extraordinary situation, so our response must be equally extraordinary” Artistic Director SIMON GODWIN announces. “While we are saddened to cancel our shows, and what would have been our 30th Free For All, we know it is also the most responsible course of action at this time.”
Announcing the Phoenix Fund
On March 17, Artistic Director Simon Godwin announced the creation of the Phoenix Fund. One of STC’s generous board members offered a matching grant of up to one million dollars, allowing the company to potentially raise two million dollars of unrestricted funds. In less than three weeks, the Phoenix Fund had already raised more than $500,000. Many patrons have donated their tickets back to the theatre in support of the Phoenix Fund, named after one of Shakespeare’s favorite images, the mythical bird born again from the ashes of destruction.
“The symbol of the phoenix inspires us all—board, staff, artists, donors, and audiences—to focus on the possibility of a bright future for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, in spite of the heavy challenges of today,” LAURA WILLUMSEN (Senior Director of Development) states. “We are deeply grateful for the support, passion, and generosity of our donors.”
Jennings adds: “We have the best, brightest, and most dedicated team of artists and staff of any theatre company. The Phoenix Fund will ensure STC rises again, and returns to producing great classic theatre.”
For the latest information concerning STC’s adjusted performance calendar, please visit our response to the coronavirus on our website (https://www.shakespearetheatre.org/coronavirus-response/).