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Coronavirus forces Playhouse to shorten season, drop big shows

The coronavirus crisis has claimed another tradition.


For the first time in 68 years, the Playhouse won't host the Apprentice and Intern Company. And, moving the season restart to mid-July, the theater also announced that three big headliners have been bumped to 2021.

The aspiring young actors of the 2020 apprentice company were scheduled to begin arriving May 8. With no guarantee that precautions will be lifted by mid-May, and given that the Company would live in shared dormitory-style housing, it is not feasible or responsible to proceed as planned, the Playhouse said in a news release. Without the talents this unique workforce brings to the Playhouse, it is impossible to produce our large summer musicals.

"With the inability to host large gatherings, safely house artists, rehearse and work in close proximity as our productions require, and to mitigate the unavoidable lost revenue and negative financial implications, we have no choice but to alter our 2020 season," the Playhouse said.
The season will reopen with Million Dollar Quartet in mid-July. The remainder of the season will proceed as planned beginning with Jumping Jack Flash - The Music of the Rolling Stones on Aug. 20.

Steel Magnolias and musicals A Chorus Line and West Side Story will be moved to the 2021 season.

In response to Government guidelines, and for the safety of our staff and customers, the box office will close Friday, April 3, and plans to re-open Monday, April 27. Patrons with questions can refer to the Playhouse website for answers to frequently asked questions and/or to find ways to help support FRP at this critical time. Folks can also email Ongoing furloughs and reduced hours mean that it might take some time to reply to customers. We are grateful in advance for patience and understanding.
While the Playhouse is deeply saddened to suspend productions at this time, the safety and well-being of staff, artists, and audiences remains our primary goal. Due to the hard work, fiscal discipline, and efficient use of resources over recent years, the State Theatre has been able to, for now, put together a plan to successfully weather this storm in such a way that not all is lost. It is especially disappointing to face this unexpected situation given the strong start to the 2020 season with record ticket sales that were trending toward the most positive financial results the Playhouse has experienced in more than a decade.
The Playhouse will rely on the generosity of its sponsors, government partners, beloved patrons and community friends to help get through this crisis. It has created a COVID-19 Crisis Fund and welcomes any and all gifts. It also asks patrons to consider buying gift certificates or tickets for future productions and donating back any tickets they now can’t use.
The Playhouse values, appreciates, and deeply needs ongoing support throughout this crisis, and is committed to continuing to play a vital role in the economic well-being of Henderson County and North Carolina at large. We are proud to belong to and partner with a community that never fails to rally support for local businesses, non-profits, and one another as the country works in times of hardship. We will get through this together.