In another readjustment to its season, Milwaukee Repertory Theater is canceling all of its live performances through most of April due to COVID-19.
The Rep originally planned to start in-person productions this month as part of its 2020-’21 Season Reset, but this week announced it has rescheduled performances to instead begin April 27.
“We delayed this decision as long as we could as COVID conditions continue to improve in our community, particularly with increased vaccinations,” said executive director Chad Bauman. “To ensure artistic and production quality, we must make decisions weeks in advance and conditions were not conducive to allow a reopening as planned in February. We have collaborated with the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department and our partner unions to develop a robust safety plan that we hope will allow us to reopen very soon.”
The Rep has already lost $7 million in earned revenue since the beginning of the pandemic and more cancellations this season will increase those losses by more than $300,000.
The organization said it has reduced its expense budget by 50% and leaned on operating reserves, federal relief programs and donations to sustain its operations.
The Rep has also raised more than $1 million, thanks to a $500,000 match from its board of trustees, as part of its emergency relief fundraising campaign to support artists, staff and facilities.
Its updated schedule will include running in-person performances of “Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song with Alexis J. Roston” (originally scheduled to begin this month) from April 27-May 23 in the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.
In-person and virtual performances of “Nina Simone: Four Women” (scheduled for April 27-May 23) have been canceled, “McGuire” (scheduled for March 23-April 18) is indefinitely postponed, and “Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son” (scheduled for April 7-May 2) has moved to the 2021-‘22 season.
When reopened, Milwaukee Rep theaters will initially operate at 25% of capacity with distance between patrons.
In the meantime, the Rep is offering virtual programming. It recently announced special programming every Monday night in February as part of its Black History Month celebration that will be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube Live.
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