The curtains will be closed for another year at Dock Street Theatre.
In light of the pandemic’s effect on the world’s arts programs, on Nov. 10, Charleston Stage said that it will be postponing all in-person performances at its historic downtown theater until fall 2021.
Founder and Producing Artistic Director Julian Wiles said the decision to postpone the 44th season was for the safety of the cast, crew, patrons and employees. He took a cue from Broadway and other major theaters around the nation that have similarly delayed their shows.
“In addition to the critical safety issues, audience surveys, the currently depressed Charleston tourism market and restrictions on school field trips eliminating our school matinee performances have informed us that audiences are not yet comfortable returning to the Dock Street Theatre in significant numbers,” Wiles said.
With shows postponed since early Spring, Associate Artistic Director Marybeth Clark said Charleston Stage has had to make strategic budget and staffing cuts to stay afloat and sustain the theater’s mission.
Though the main stage will pause its productions at Dock Street Theatre, Charleston Stage will offer digital and streaming productions, virtual classes and new outdoor performances set for the spring.
“We are also using this time to expand and reflect on our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion work, as well as looking for ways to expand our offerings beyond the walls of the Dock Street Theatre,” Clark said.
With plans to return to live, in-person performances this fall, albeit with somewhat smaller attendance, the line-up will be revised as the Charleston Stage rebuilds its 29-person production team.
Upcoming productions include A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline; Tick, Tick… Boom!, a musical by the creator of Rent; and the South Carolina premiere of Black Pearl, which includes a score of Gullah folk songs and spirituals. Larger full-scale productions will follow with A Christmas Story, Murder on the Orient Express and Kinky Boots as the grand finale.