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Goodspeed Musicals Postpones Fall Production, Effectively Canceling 2020 Season



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EAST HADDAM — Goodspeed Musicals Executive Director Michael Gennaro has announced additional changes to the programming and operations at the historic theater.

“As we look to the future and the realities of reopening our theater, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our cherished members, staff, artists, and ticket buyers,” Gennaro said June 17. “With this in mind, we have decided to postpone South Pacific to 2021.”

Gennaro explained, “This decision was reached after weeks of exploring, creating, and revising best practice protocols to bring the audience safely back into the theatre. And in the end, as much as we want to begin presenting musicals in our theatre again this fall, we realized that we could not overcome the obstacles under the evolving state guidelines to bring an audience safely into the Opera House.

“We love creating and presenting musicals,” he said, expressing disappointment at the turn of events.

“Cancelling our entire 2020 season has affected every staff member through layoffs, furloughs, and reduced pay, and caused severe financial hardship for the institution,” he added. “However, we realize that today’s pain and sacrifice will allow us to come back in the Spring of 2021 stronger than ever.”

Those who have tickets for South Pacific will be contacted directly by email. Ticket holders are asked to not call the box office because of very limited staffing.

Patrons interested in helping are encouraged to donate their unused tickets for all cancelled performances as tax-deductible gifts to support the theater. All requests, including ticket donation, credits that may be used anytime in 2021, or refunds, will be handled as promptly as possible.

Gennaro expressed gratitude for the generous support from the Goodspeed members, patrons, and the theater community.

“Thanks to their help and support, Goodspeed will survive this pandemic,” he said last month. “All of us look forward to the day when we can return to our beloved Opera House and enjoy musical theatre at its finest.”

The historic theater had previously announced the postponement of productions of Anne of Green Gables, also to 2021; and Candide, which officials said they “hope to revisit in the future.”

The Worklight Series, a new offering to be launched this year, has also been postponed, as has the annual gala planned for June. Goodspeed is still planning to offer a virtual Kids Company in the fall.

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