COVID-19 UPDATETo Our Goodspeed Family and Friends,
Greetings from Goodspeed. I hope that each and every one of you is safe and healthy. Our patrons are important to us and it has been our joy and privilege to make the Opera House glow with excitement, both inside and out, each April to December season. Sadly, this year will be different.
As you can imagine, Goodspeed has been significantly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 virus. We have had to make some heartbreaking decisions. With courage and hope, we are taking a number of steps to protect our staff, our community and the longevity of Goodspeed Musicals.
- First, we are going to do two shows at the Goodspeed Opera House instead of three this year. South Pacific will be moved to the fall and Anne of Green Gables will remain in the summer. Sadly, we will not be able to produce Candide this season but hope to revisit it in the future.
This decision was a practical one. Given current projections about the length of this crisis, there will not be enough time to produce a spring musical at The Goodspeed. And, work on the sets and costumes for South Pacific and Anne of Green Gables has already progressed significantly. In fact, the set for South Pacific is already built and will be stored until we need it.
- Second, we have decided to postpone the launch of our new Worklight Series at The Terris Theatre until 2021. Our efforts to advance new musicals will continue behind the scenes, but on a smaller scale until we are operating at full capacity again.
- Third, these dramatic program changes mean that we face significant financial challenges. In order to meet those challenges, we have had to make deep cuts in our budget including adjustments to staffing. We have reduced our staff through a combination of furloughs, reduced hours and layoffs. In fact, our entire campus will be closed the weeks of March 30 - April 5 and April 27 - May 4 when all staff will be on unpaid furlough. During the remaining weeks in April, a portion of our staff will continue on furlough while the rest work remotely with reduced hours and pay. These decisions were the hardest of all because they impact our most precious asset – our people.
We know that you will have questions about your tickets. Our box office will reach out to everyone in the near future who has tickets for the affected shows. Furloughs and reduced hours mean this might take some time and I hope that you will be patient with us as we work our way through our lists.
In the meantime, I urge you to consider donating back your unused Candide and Worklight Series tickets, as tax-deductible gifts to support our severely impacted theatre. Your generosity in this way would make a big difference to us as we continue to figure out how to make it through this crisis.
As we prepare ourselves for the uncertain future, we are bolstered by the support and faith of our Goodspeed family. Knowing that so many of you care about Goodspeed and our staff makes our burden a little bit lighter. In return, we will continue to send bits of “good news” via email and on social media to put a smile on your face and add cheer to your day.
Together we will get through this and together we will celebrate happier times at Goodspeed in the very near future.