David Yee's carried away on the crest of a wave, featuring Mana Nakamura & Raugi Yu (above), was among the remaining shows cancelled in the Arts Club 2019-2020 season. Photo by David Cooper.
David Yee's carried away on the crest of a wave, featuring Mana Nakamura & Raugi Yu (above), was among the remaining shows cancelled in the Arts Club 2019-2020 season. Photo by David Cooper.

While British Columbia will begin a staged approach to re-opening the economy, without a vaccine, government health officials say restricting gatherings to no more than 50 people will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Coupling those physical distancing requirements with the continued risk and unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts Club Theatre Company has announced the cancellation of the remainder of its 2019-2020 season.

“We’re heartsick over cancelling the remaining productions in our 56th season,” says the Arts Club’s artistic director Corcoran in a media release. “This choice impacts not only our artists and staff but also our patrons who were looking forward to seeing these incredible shows brought to life on our stages.”

The shows impacted by this cancellation include carried away on the crest of a wave, Every Brilliant Thing, ‘da Kink in my Hair, Kinky Boots, and Peter Pan Goes Wrong. These cancellations follow The Wedding Party and Kim’s Convenience, which had already been cut short as the pandemic first hit in mid-March.

There is some hope for this season’s cancelled productions as Corcoran says the Arts Club is committed to staging them, with the same teams, sometime in the future.

Corcoran also acknowledged the impact that ongoing physical distancing restrictions will have on its 2020-2021 season, originally scheduled to open in September with a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

… the likelihood of presenting the full and robust season announced in February is slim.

“With the existing social distancing restrictions in place, the likelihood of presenting the full and robust season announced in February is slim,” says Corcoran in the release.

As a result, the company is now exploring a reduced 2020-2021 season staged under the B.C. Ministry of Health guidelines. It is also exploring its option if the current restrictions ease.

“We know that cancelling our remaining productions has a significant financial impact on our artists, our staff, and our organization,” says executive director Peter Cathie White. “This is an incredibly difficult decision, but it’s one we believe we must make to best support the safety of our theatre community. We look forward to bringing laughter and light back to our stages as soon as it’s safe to do so.”