The hits keep coming.
The Guthrie Theater has scotched its spring mini-season, the theater announced Friday in a letter to patrons that was also posted on its website. The cancellation by one of the nation’s most important playhouses comes as other organizations have pushed back possible reopening dates in response to the raging coronavirus pandemic.
The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, announced that there will be no shows until after May 30 at the earliest.
“Given the current circumstances and continued health concerns, we are unable to identify a reopen date until we have a reasonable level of confidence to do so,” Guthrie artistic director Joseph Haj wrote.
The Guthrie’s mini-season was slated to start in March with Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat,” followed by Noël Coward’s “Private Lives” and another unannounced title. Pre-pandemic, the theater had approved a 2020-2021 budget of $31 million. That figure was subsequently slashed to $12.5 million, and the theater laid off a majority of its staff and cut shows.
The theater is continuing to produce shows and offering them online. Its virtual version of “Dickens’ Holiday Classic,” which retells “A Christmas Carol,” will stream Dec. 19-31.
The online offerings include “This Is Who I Am” by Amir Nizar Zuabi (Nov. 29-Dec. 27). Zuabi was part of the theater’s celebration of Arab and Arab-American artistry last winter, with his show, “Grey Rock” getting an enthralling production in the Dowling Studio. “Who I Am,” about a father and soon cooking together over Zoom from their homes in Ramallah and New York, is presented in partnership with other theaters, including Woolly Mammoth in Washington, D.C., and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The Guthrie is partnering with other organizations to commission “Holiday Sauce … Pandemic!” by playwright and performer Taylor Mac. Mac performed his “24-Decade History of Popular Music: The 20th Century Abridged” at the Guthrie in 2016.
The theater also has commissioned Tony- and Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, MacArthur Foundation “genius” playwright Larissa FastHorse and Karen Zacarías (“Native Gardens”) to create new work for the stage.
Haj closed his letter to subscribers with gratitude for their patience and support “as we continue to face these challenges together.”
“I long to see our stages and spaces bustling again,” he said.