Like most of us, I've had a lot of my mind over the last few weeks. The constantly-evolving COVID-19 situation has kept me on my toes, frequently worried and never sure what's coming next.
I'm sure you've been hearing a lot from different organizations about how they're making adjustments, changes or cancellations. At Summit Players Theatre, like most places, we're being attentive: we're washing our hands, we aren't touching our faces and we're keeping a close eye on requirements and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).
At the present moment, we plan to go ahead with all of our shows this summer, from June 13 until August 23, 2020. If anything changes about our current situation, we'll make sure to let you know as soon as possible.
To make our summer season a more likely reality, there are two things you can do today (from your home, even).
First, consider a donation to Summit Players Theatre. Arts organizations across the country and across the world are feeling the strain of not being able to gather people in large groups, preventing productions and projects from taking place. In some ways, we're different, as we don't rely on ticket revenue to succeed, but we do rely on your generosity. The ability to pay our artists is vital at a time when projects are getting cancelled left and right and many creative workers are out of jobs.
Second, stay safe. Stay at home, if you can. Wash your hands under hot water with soap for at least 20 seconds, and keep your hands away from your face. Even if COVID-19 might not have significant effects for you, you could act as a carrier, spreading illness and prolonging the outbreak.
The sooner we can end the outbreak and reduce the dangers of COVID-19, the sooner we can get back to gathering in large groups in the great outdoors to share classic, timeless stories.
The people in Shakespeare's plays never have it easy. His characters do not live simple lives, free of worry or turmoil. We share these stories, however, because we learn a lot about ourselves through the immensity of their struggles - through the joy of their victories and the tragedy of their sorrows.
Our present situation presents us with an opportunity to keep telling stories and learning about ourselves. When we eventually come together again, I hope we'll better understand Shakespeare's characters, with their difficult losses and their joyful reunions. I hope we'll better understand the end of The Winter's Tale - even after great sadness, we find hope. When the sun rises over the Wisconsin State Parks this summer, it'll rise all the brighter.
I look forward to seeing you outside.
Summit Players Theatre