“Fluid” seems to be the word of choice for some theatres as they end a spring schedule that never was, and look toward summer and fall slates that increasingly look like they may never be. Optimism—to the extent it exists at all—floats on a spectrum between “cautiously” and “overly,” while realistic expectations and projections change by the minute.
As recently as yesterday morning, for instance, Utah Shakespeare Festival’s website was adorned by a banner declaring “the festival curtain will rise this summer”—a banner which has since been removed, replaced by the news that Utah Shakes will in fact not produce this summer. While many summer festival theatres have similarly canceled their summer seasons, from Oregon Shakes to Alabama Shakes to New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park, the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre (the Muny) has set a June deadline to decide whether to go forward or not with a summer season, to start in July at their 11,000-seat amphitheatre. And in Massachusetts, Barrington Stage Company has announced a “socially distanced” season to bow in August.