FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2020
Contact: Ashley Shields - Executive Director
706-993-7219 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Creamery Theatre Suspends 2020 Season
Amana, IA – On Monday, May 11, the Old Creamery Theatre Board of Directors made the difficult but unanimous decision to suspend the remaining 2020 Season.
"While we never imagined in our nearly 50-year history that we'd have to make such a heartbreaking decision, we know it is in the best interest of our audiences, artists and staff," said Board President, Peter Teahen. "The substantial uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 paralyze our ability to forge a clear and fiscally responsible path to present a Season that relies on large-group attendance, so we must make this difficult but necessary adjustment to ensure the safety of our patrons and the long-term health of the theatre."
Old Creamery Theatre is one of only three professional theatres in Iowa and is subject to the guidelines of Actors' Equity Association, the Union that represents professional actors and stage managers. To-date, the Union has not released any guidelines on when members can return to work, further compromising Old Creamery's ability to proceed with its planned 2020 Season. Additionally, Old Creamery Theatre understands that regardless of loosening restrictions, patrons might not feel immediately comfortable returning to the theatre. The well-being of Old Creamery artists and audiences remains the primary concern when deciding when and how the theatre will safely reopen.
In the meantime, Old Creamery will continue to develop virtual offerings including Acting Classes, Camp Creamery and the recently announced Songs to Make You Smile: A Virtual Encore. This community cabaret, featuring local artists and students, will premiere via YouTube Live on Saturday, May 23rd with all proceeds equally benefiting the four participating theatres: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Riverside Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids and Old Creamery Theatre. The organization is also exploring socially-distanced and outdoor programming and is ready to respond should the conditions become favorable for more traditional, live performances.
Ticketholders will be contacted individually regarding cancellations which include all remaining Main Stage, Theatre for Young Audiences and Road Show performances through December 20, 2020. With ticket sales accounting for 80% of Old Creamery's budget, ticketholders are asked to please consider converting their ticket purchases into a tax-deductible donation to the theatre. Additionally, a COVID-19 Relief Fund has been established to provide critical support during this crisis and ensure future operations.
Next year, Old Creamery Theatre will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. A new schedule of shows for the 2021 Season will be announced in August and will include an exciting line-up of effervescent musicals, laugh-out-loud comedies and heartwarming plays.
"We are heartbroken, but hopeful," says Executive Director, Ashley Shields. "If anything, this crisis has taught us that people need the arts in their lives not just to be entertained but to feel a sense of belonging and connection. We cherish our Old Creamery family, and we'll be back before you know it, bringing you uplifting stories and real, live connection when we'll need it most."
For more information, please visit our Questions & Answers page.
Old Creamery Theatre is a nonprofit professional theatre founded in 1971. Next year, the company will celebrate 50 years of bringing live, professional theatre and arts education programming to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.