Shaw Festival pushes back preview of upcoming performance due to provincial shutdown

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The Shaw Festival is tweaking their schedule again to adhere to the provincial shutdown.

The first preview performance of the upcoming production Charley's Aunt has been pushed back to May 16th at 1 p.m. in hopes the region may be in a zone with fewer restrictions by that time.

Executive Director Tim Jennings says the shutdown has greatly impacted their ability to hold in-person rehearsals.

"We're working on all the little contingencies and trying to figure out how we safely bring our artists back and working together. They'll rehearsed masked right until they get to the stage and then when they finally get to the stage we'll have protocols - they'll be tested before they start that process."

The Shaw Festival still plans to present the rest of the 2021 season as scheduled, but performances will only take place if it is safe to do so.

Box office representatives will be reaching out to all affected ticket holders to discuss options, including refunds.

Jennings says the Shaw Festival has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for renovations to ensure audience safety, including changing how people are brought into the building, installing touchless ticketing options, and improving air handling.

"Trying to come up with these protocols and have the staff and resources to figure this out is not something most theatres can do. One of the reasons we're trying to come up early is to be able to pioneer some things for the rest of the industry and then hand them those findings and protocols so they can adapt them to their own use."

A 'Duty of Care' page outlining some of the measures is available on the Shaw Festival's website.

Click here to listen to Jenning's full interview with Tim Denis.