Dear friends of American Shakespeare Center,
Over the last eighteen months and since the onset of the COVID-19 public health crisis, we have focused on our commitment to “keep the lights on” during a very trying time. Unlike most professional theater companies around the country, we forged ahead with live theater during the pandemic.
We are proud of our perseverance and steadfast commitment to producing high quality artistic work in the face of enormous challenges. We owe our ability to keep the lights on in great part to you – our friends, supporters, and audience – and to our committed staff of artists and administrators. However, our determination that the “show must go on” has taken a toll on our most important and vital asset – our people. We have asked our staff to produce at a tumultuous and challenging time in our world with reduced and inadequate staff and organizational capacity.
We need to attend to ASC’s infrastructure in a way that nurtures and values our people and provides them with a healthy and vibrant artistic home. That process must also include engagement in an ongoing conversation to address serious, longstanding inequities relating to diversity and inclusion that exist in our nation, community, and organization. To do this, we are hitting pause and cancelling live performances for the remainder of our fall season. We will continue to offer digital performances and other virtual offerings as we have throughout the pandemic.
We have not made this decision lightly and we will make full use of this time to talk with and listen to our colleagues and our communities. We will engage in comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion training as part of a careful and thoughtful examination of how to operate and work. We will implement necessary changes.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Blackfriars Playhouse. We recognize that this cancellation may disrupt your plans and we apologize. Our aim is to take needed time now to ensure we continue to bring you the joy of Shakespeare for the next 20 years and beyond.
We look forward to welcoming you back to live performances of A Christmas Carol this December, when we hope you will see and feel a renewed and revitalized energy and excitement.
Thank you for your continued friendship and support.
The American Shakespeare Center
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As one of our most valued communities, we want our patrons’ voices to be heard. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or call us at 540.885.5588.