King's Wharf theatre cancels all performances for this summer
2020 Season Cancelled at the King’s Wharf Theatre
Drayton Entertainment cancels productions in Penetanguishene due to COVID-19
Friday, May 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Amidst continued concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and in keeping with physical distancing recommendations, Drayton Entertainment has cancelled its entire summer season at the King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene. The wellness of patrons, staff, artists, volunteers, and the community continues to be of paramount importance for the not-for-profit charitable arts organization, which has already cancelled a number of productions at its seven stages across the province.
The season in Penetanguishene was to have opened in June with Sleeping Beauty: The Panto (June 10 to June 27), followed by The Dixie Swim Club (July 2 to July 18), and Fiddler on the Loose (July 22 to Aug 15); these three productions were cancelled earlier this spring. The latest cancellation includes the Broadway musical Rock of Ages (Aug 20 to Sept 5), which was the final production in the King’s Wharf Theatre season. The Youth Musical Theatre Program one-week camp (July 20 to July 24) is also cancelled.
“It’s sad and disappointing, but we know this is the right decision. Health and safety must come first,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director & CEO of Drayton Entertainment. “We’ve received many wonderful messages of support, which are so appreciated. These may be uncertain times, but one thing we can be sure about is the innate power of arts and culture to bring us together. We’ll be back when the time is right, excited to share the magic of live theatre with the community once again.”
All Drayton Entertainment Box Offices are closed to in-person traffic but continue to operate remotely through phone and email communication in a reduced capacity. Over the next several weeks, patrons who have purchased tickets for cancelled performances will be contacted by the Box Office to facilitate account credits or refunds. Due to the volume of cancellations, Drayton Entertainment requests patience and cooperation as the team works to accommodate patron needs as operational capabilities permit.
Drayton Entertainment has also cancelled additional productions at its other various venues across Ontario. The production cancellations do not always follow a chronological time frame due to the company’s unique business model which transfers select productions from one venue to another throughout the season calendar. Cancellations are determined on a production by production basis and impact the playbill at each Drayton Entertainment venue differently.
At this time, 14 of the 18 productions in Drayton Entertainment’s 2020 Season have been cancelled, along with all summer Youth Musical Theatre Programs, and any special concert events or rentals scheduled through September 5.
The status of each season production is outlined by the venue on the company’s website at: www.draytonentertainment.com/Online/article/season-2020.
Drayton Entertainment stages over 800 performances annually at its various venues, with paid attendance exceeding 250,000 annually, making it one of the country’s largest not-for-profit theatre festivals. Economically, the Government of Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM) estimates the organization’s economic impact on visitor spending at over $60 million annually, positively affecting multiple communities throughout Ontario, including Huron County. Drayton Entertainment also provides over 400 employment contracts annually to actors, musicians, designers and other creatives, making it one of the largest employers of professional artists in the country across all artistic disciplines. These programming losses are significant for Canada’s arts & culture and tourism sectors.
Drayton Entertainment operates in accordance with advice from public health authorities and in compliance with directives from government agencies. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is significant to all communities and industries. Live theatre involves large gatherings of people, and as such, Drayton Entertainment will continue to reassess its policies and procedures as they relate to future productions based on guidelines from designated Canadian public health authorities and government agencies.
Current information regarding coronavirus programming cancellations is posted on the Drayton Entertainment website at www.draytonentertainment.com/online/article/coronavirus.