MEMPHIS, Tennessee —
NEWS RELEASE FROM CIRCUIT PLAYHOUSE, INC.
Circuit Playhouse, Inc. will suspend productions and in-house programs, moving the 52nd season opening to November.
With the rise in COVID-19 cases around Memphis, Shelby County, and throughout the United States, the uncertainty of community compliance, and the overall health and safety of staff, artists, and designers, the executive leadership of Circuit Playhouse, Inc. has decided to cancel upcoming productions and programs through October. The theatre’s 52nd season will begin sometime in November.
The decision was made after consultation with doctors, city leaders, and the theatre’s leadership and board. Executive Producer Michael Detroit addresses the move by saying, “Even though CPI’s reopening plans for public performances for Playhouse on the Square and The Circuit Playhouse were approved over the weekend, rising COVID-19 numbers, along with testing challenges… and a general sense of apprehension, I believe it is in the best interest and safety of the cast, crew, staff, volunteers, and patrons to postpone production.” The move brings a halt to the rehearsal, casting, and pre-production of the two season openers scheduled for August. Detroit and Managing Director Whitney Jo say that current talent contracts will be honored despite the financial hardships facing the theatre. Furthermore, Playhouse on the Square staff will remain employed during the suspension.
The organization was set to open the season with Little Shop of Horrors in August, followed by the regional premieres of Ink and Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School, Murder on the Orient Express, Peter Pan, and the Theatre for Youth touring production of Freckleface Strawberry. All shows have been cancelled with the hope of producing them in a future season.
The world premieres of May We All and Holiday Happy Hour are currently expected to open Playhouse on the Square’s 52nd season.
In addition to the cancelled productions, the Department of Theatre Education has cancelled the fall semester of the After School Acting Program (A.S.A.P.) and will be converting Adult and Youth Theatre School into a hybrid of in-person and digital instruction. The Teens in Theatre (TnT), Q&A (Queer and Allied Theatre), and Play Slam! programs will be hosted on digital platforms as well. Further information in regards to these changes are forthcoming.
In lieu of in-person performances, the theatre will continue to offer content digitally via its website and social media platforms. Features in the Playhouse at Home Series, such as POTS in the Vault (airing Friday’s at 1:00pm), can be found on the theatre’s website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channel.
The Summer Spotlight Series’ final episode will be Episode 4: Company Cabaret, set to air Wednesday, July 22nd at 4:00 pm. Visit www.playhouseonthesquare.org for more information and viewing options.
The Episode 5: The Little Shop of Horrors Sneak Peek documentary has been cancelled. New content during the theatre’s dark months will be announced soon.
CPI thanks its patrons, students, sponsors, donors, and subscribers for their support and encouragement during these uncertain times. Intermissions can’t last forever. We will return to welcome our community back to the theatre soon. Until then, CPI’s family of artists, designers, and staff urge all of the Mid-South to heed the advice of the experts, stay strong, and stay safe.
For questions or concerns, please contact Playhouse on the Square Director of Community Relations, Marcus Cox (901) 937-6496 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.