I think it’s fair to say we have all experienced a wide variety of emotions over these past few weeks. I’ve personally felt scared, lonely, anxious, and worried. But, the emotion I’ve really settled into lately is disappointed. There have been many personal disappointments like not being able to celebrate my dad’s birthday in person and telling my daughter our extended family won’t be able to join us for her birthday later this month. And, the thought of not being in church yet another Sunday, especially on Easter, is perhaps one of the hardest pills to swallow. Professionally, I’m so disappointed that this magnificent season we had planned is changing in ways we never expected. The excitement and anticipation from the community for this season was palpable. We had record-breaking season ticket sales. It was my first full season at the helm, and it was going to be one to remember. While it will definitely still be that, it won’t be remembered in the way I thought it would. And, maybe that’s ok. I truly believe there will be many beautiful things to reflect upon when this time has passed. I don’t know about you, but I’ve also experienced joy, excitement, love, comfort, and peace during this time. I’ve spent more time with my kids than ever before (which is mostly enjoyable), I’ve been outside more and seen the beauty of spring unfold before me, I’ve stepped away from the constant noise and taken time to listen, and I’ve read story after story of people coming together to support and love each other through this storm. I hope that you’ve found QCT to be a source of these positive feelings. I know we as a staff have taken great comfort in remaining connected to you during this time.
Speaking of our staff, I want to take a moment to brag on them. Thursday, March 12, was a normal day at the theatre. Rehearsals for Chicago were underway, Spring classes were wrapping up, office staff was hard at work prepping for upcoming auditions and ticket sales, and the tech staff was putting finishing touches on the set and costumes. By Tuesday, March 17 we had put Chicago on hold, closed the Box Office, and started working virtually. It was a tremendous amount of change in a very short amount of time. I have never been more proud of them than I have been these last few weeks. Like everyone, we are facing situations we’ve never faced and operating like we’ve never operated. And, despite all the change and uncertainty, their focus has remained on you, our theatre family. We’ve talked about the impact of a schedule change on our season ticket holders, we’ve talked about ways we can engage our amazing volunteer base once we get the all clear, and we’ve focused on ways to continue to build excitement, quality, and connection through virtual means. This community is so fortunate to have Brandon, Brendan, Shari, Rachael, Lorne, Danny, and Susan at QCT, and I’m thankful every day that I get to be part of this amazing team.
As I have talked with people in our community (virtually, of course) I’ve received numerous questions about how we will move forward with our season. From our first announcement to postpone Chicago, we committed to be transparent. With that spirit in mind you will find our current plan below. Admittedly, I share this with some reservation. The situation continues to change so rapidly and this plan involves MANY moving parts such as state and city regulations for mass gatherings and approval from our licensing houses. It’s possible by the time you read this that things have changed. But, I know how much you love QCT and are concerned with where we are headed. So, our plan as of today (April 8) is as follows.
Season Ticket Shows
- Chicago – We currently plan to stage Chicago in May if the mass gathering restrictions are lifted in time. The dates are TBD based on the approval from the licensing house. ALL TICKETS WILL TRANSFER. For example, if you had a ticket for the 1st Saturday performance in March, you will have a ticket for the 1st Saturday performance in May. Should you have a conflict with the new date, you will have the ability to move your tickets to another scheduled performance.
- Calendar Girls – We plan to move this production to September based on the approval from the licensing house.
- Legally Blonde – At this time, this show will continue as scheduled in July.
- The Trip to Bountiful – If we receive approval to move Calendar Girls, The Trip to Bountiful will be cancelled.
- Beauty and the Beast – At this time, this show will continue as scheduled in December.
Student Theatre Shows
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – At this time, this show will be presented in the Lab in June. Auditions were originally scheduled for late April. New dates audition dates are May 5 & 6.
- Junie B. Jones is not a Crook – At this time, this show will continue as scheduled in October.
As it stands now, one show will be eliminated from the season. As you can imagine, the financial impact of cancelling a show is tremendous. I have been working closely with staff and the board of directors to discuss how this change will impact the organization’s overall financial health and what it means for our season ticket holders. We are grateful you have allowed us time to work through the many changes that have come our way. We remain focused on our mission to provide quality theatre entertainment and education in the performing arts through community participation while also ensuring the safety of our patrons, volunteers, and staff remains a top priority. I look forward to the time when I can announce, with certainty, our plan to reopen. Until that time comes, I strongly encourage you to engage with us though social media and #QCTatHome.
I know I speak for the QCT staff and board when I say that we sincerely appreciate you. To those of you who continue to work to keep our hospitals and clinics open, our stores stocked, our banks running, our mail delivered, our streets safe, our churches vibrant, and countless other services available, THANK YOU! To those of you who are able to stay home and do so to protect yourselves and each other, THANK YOU! To those of you who have sewn masks, offered homeschooling advice for those of us who suddenly find ourselves as teachers, given blood for the first (or 100th) time, volunteered to shop for your elderly neighbors, and so much more, THANK YOU! We are a community. We will get through this as a community. And, our community will be stronger because of it.
Even though the stage is currently dark, the QCT community remains connected and strong. The cast of Chicago has found new ways to run lines virtually and continues to work on choreography. Summer classes are in development, and the selection process for instructors for Triple Threat Bootcamp and Basic Training is underway. Set designs for upcoming shows are being discussed and sketched. We will be ready the moment we receive word that we can reopen. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.