The Shaw Festival is cancelling Gypsy: A Musical Fable, for this year.
With planning for next year well underway, the festival is looking ahead to 2023, intending to offer the musical production then.
The decision was made based on new COVID-19 restrictions, and Niagara being in the grey-lockdown zone, it was announced Tuesday.
The restrictive measures placed on the rehearsal and performance of brass and wind instruments and singing severely impacts director and choreographer Kimberley Rampersad, and her creative team’s original and artistic vision for the musical, the announcement said.
The remainder of The Shaw’s 2021 playbill is not currently affected by the changes to the performance protocols impacting the musical, and will continue as originally scheduled.
“However much we have grown used to being nimble and adaptable in the ever-shifting landscape of this pandemic, this is still a pretty heartrending decision to have to make,” said artistic director Tim Carroll. “But as one door closes, another opens. We were already planning a fabulous range of outdoor events, musical, theatrical, you name it; having this group of amazing performers available for that work increases our scope hugely. We will announce details of our mystery projects in the coming weeks.”
“We remain confident The Shaw will be able to present the remaining shows of the 2021 season,” said Tim Jennings, executive director and CEO of the festival. “Our theatres are at the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and we are deeply aware of The Shaw’s economic impact on our surrounding communities. With this in mind, supplementing the playbill with additional performance offerings will allow us to support the artists and crew of Gypsy: A Musical Fable – and by extension, our community – while offering our audiences safe, entertaining and inspired outdoor alternatives. We will make announcements about our new add-ons for this season throughout the coming weeks and as opportunities present themselves. Stay tuned.”
In addition to following and exceeding the directives of local, provincial and federal governments and their respective public health agencies, the Shaw Festival has implemented a Duty of Care initiative, and is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its audiences, company members and communities.
Box office representatives will be reaching out to all affected ticket holders to discuss options, including refunds. Patrons with questions or concerns regarding their tickets can call the Shaw Festival box office at 1-800-511-7429, Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.