(LENOX, Mass.) – Shakespeare & Company is postponing its 2020 season until spring/summer 2021 due to the COVID19 pandemic.
The company plans to move productions originally planned for May-September 2020 to its 2021 calendar, including King Lear with Christopher Lloyd and the outdoor production of Much Ado About Nothing in the Roman Garden Theatre.
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.
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 October 10, 2020. For additional gala information or to reserve seats call (413) 637-1199, ext. 105.
Shakespeare & Company’s move follows the cancellation of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s summer 2020 seasons and the postponement, delays, and/or cancellations of some programming at Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, and MASS MoCA.
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.
“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,” said artistic director Allyn Burrows. “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,” said Board Chair Ken Werner. “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.”
“This is a difficult decision for us because we understand the impact and importance arts and cultural organizations have on the region,” said Davis. “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 solace we can take from this interruption is that we will see you again,” continued Burrows. “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.”
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 at shakespeare.org. For more information, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.