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2020-21 Season Announcement Update

Posted: August 19 / 2020


Dear Asolo Rep Family,

As you know, it has been an unprecedented few months for all of us here at Asolo Rep in the wake of Covid-19. The performing arts industry worldwide faces a challenging future and there are many unknowns about how to move forward convening large groups and enjoying live theatre. I know you are all anxious to hear what our plans are for the 2020-21 season and we are eager to let you know our thinking. Major efforts are underway to still bring you a re-imagined, robust 2020-21 season combining live theatre, outdoor performances and online performances. However, at this time we are announcing some changes to our 2020-21 Mertz Theatre lineup.

It has become increasingly clear that we will not be able to open as planned this November with BILLY ELLIOT: THE MUSICAL. The show would require a long rehearsal period starting in October for twelve school-aged children. With schools uncertain of their own openings and rightfully limiting activities of all kinds, we felt we should not bring these young artists into our theatre. For the safety of the kids and everyone involved, we have decided to move BILLY ELLIOT to be the fall musical opener of our 2021-22 season.

It is with deep regret that we must announce the cancellation of Ken Ludwig’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS, originally scheduled to open in early January. The scope and timing of our production simply cannot be accomplished while ensuring artist, staff, and audience safety. That said, it is our dearest desire to move forward with the rest of our announced season of plays: OUR TOWN, GRAND HORIZONS, and two brand new musicals: KNOXVILLE and HOOD.

We are actively preparing to bring you these engaging works, but want to emphasis that we will not endanger your health or the health of anyone working or volunteering for Asolo Rep even if that means further season delays or cancellations. We continue to monitor all the latest information from local and national health experts and to work closely with all the performing arts unions.

While there is much heartache in these changes – we are also discovering exciting opportunities to serve and engage our community in new and meaningful ways with online as well as outdoor performance possibilities. Online, Asolo Rep Engage is bursting with content already. At this moment, free of charge, you can watch all our Monday Musical Moments from shows you loved like EVITA, PULSE, RAGTIME and many more. You can listen to artists like Ana Isabelle, Noah Racey, and Nilo Cruz who helped bring that amazing work to Asolo Rep on our podcast, Engage: On Air. Families and educators can enjoy Nia Explains It All to get a crash course in theater terminology - and that’s just some of the content that already exists. We also can’t wait to bring you a number of other upcoming projects that will play on the Online stage.

The best way to keep current on all this information is to subscribe to our Stay Engaged Newsletter that comes out every Thursday morning with updates and clickable links to take you directly to content.

If you are like me and social media is not always the easiest tool for you to pick up, head to our website, asolorep.org, where you can access all this great work in seconds.

We are leaving no stone unturned in considering ways to safely gather and share in-person live performance once more, including outdoor performances or even plays that move throughout our community. Our imaginations are running wild with creativity to bring you immersive, thrilling performances that will change the way you experience theatre.

And finally, the coronavirus pandemic has had overwhelming economic implications for Asolo Rep and our ability to continue to bring you stellar performances. We invite you to join the special company of those who sustain and encourage excellence on-stage and off-stage with a contribution to Asolo Rep’s There’s No Place Like Home campaign.

Your unrestricted gift will support artistic excellence and new play development, sustain important and deeply integrated education and community engagement programs, keep local jobs in place for artists, artisans, and administrators and allow us to plan for tomorrow.

In these past several months we have greatly missed sharing the joy of live performance with you. We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming you back to the theatre to share our stories and explore the themes that bring us together as a community and a nation. And we want to assure you that when we reopen, it will be in a way that maximizes the health and safety of our staff, our artists, our patrons, and our community. Together we’re going to thrive.

Thank you and don’t be a stranger! Be sure to visit us online and if you have any questions or concernsplease click here to visit our Patron Services web page including a Frequently Asked Questions section, or reach out to our Patron Services staff at [email protected]. Please keep in mind that we are working with a reduced staff who may not be able to process your requests as quickly as usual. We greatly appreciate the immense patience you have shown – and continue to show – throughout this process.


Stay tuned for more updates and take care of yourself in the meantime. We love you, we miss you, we will see you soon!

With warmest regards,