The depth of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Guthrie Theater has come into clearer, more painful view.
The theater said it has pared its full-time and part-time employees by 79%, from 252 to 55. That follows the cancellation of its current season; a cut in the 2020-21 season scheduled to begin in September, from 10 plays to three, and a 60% reduction in its budget, to $12.6 million.
The Guthrie, like all arts organizations, shut down in mid-March, depriving it of operating revenue.
“As a producing theater, our largest source of income is ticket sales,” artistic director Joseph Haj said in a statement. “Being unable to perform for so long is financially devastating. It is this significant challenge, and the resultant change in programming, that necessitates both short-term and long-term layoffs as well as the elimination of positions.”
The theater also cut the salary of its six-member senior management team by 15% to 20%.
The Upper Midwest’s leading playhouse, the Tony-winning company draws more than 350,000 patrons in a typical year to the three stages in its downtown Minneapolis riverfront home.
The theater hopes to resume programming next March.
“I look forward to the day when we can safely welcome audiences and artists back to the Guthrie,” Haj said. “We are taking these difficult and painful steps now to ensure that we will come back in a way that allows us to continue to serve the amazing community that has supported us for nearly 60 years.”