The Chemainus Theatre Festival has temporarily suspended operations amid the COVID-19 crisis, resulting in the cancellation of the final two weeks of The Marvelous Wonderettes show.
A statement from the Chemainus Theatre Festival indicated the difficult decision was made in accordance with the advice of local public health authorities and in compliance with the directives from government agencies, conceding recommendations for social distancing would be difficult to guarantee in the intimate theatre space.
“The health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, staff and artists is our top priority,” noted managing director Randal Huber. “We will reevaluate the situation moving forward.”
He anticipated providing an update by Friday, March 20 regarding upcoming performances of The 39 Steps.
“We are a non-profit theatre society that values building community,” added artistic director Mark DuMez. “This decision has been challenging but we feel this is the right decision to keep our community safe and healthy. Everyone at the Chemainus Theatre will be doing their part to help reduce the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.”
Those with tickets to cancelled performances of The Marvelous Wonderettes will receive a credit for the full amount of the ticket purchase in their Chemainus Theatre account. Ticket holders for cancelled performances will be contacted directly by the box office to make future arrangements, offering a variety of options.
The Theatre Festival asks ticket holders not to call the box office regarding tickets until contacted.
“This will allow our staff to handle the complexities of the situation as smoothly as possible,” the statement read.
The 39 Steps is due to start April 9, running until May 3.
Should that show also be cancelled, ticket holders will be contacted directly by the box office to make future arrangements.
The same applies with a variety of options being offered for tickets.
For those with tickets to Beauty and the Beast running May 29 to Aug. 29, tickets are not being exchanged at this time until a definite decision is made on future productions well before that time.
The Theatre Festival indicated it will continue to look to the Public Health Agency of Canada for recommendations, guidance and direction. As soon as more information is received, updates will be provided via email and on the Chemainus Theatre Festival’s website in the coming weeks.