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Charleston Stage In-Person Performances at the Dock Street Theatre Delayed Until Fall 2021



Charleston Stage this week announced that all in-person performances at the Dock Street Theatre will be delayed until the fall of 2021.  Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director, and Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education, sent the following e-mail out to supporters:

Dear Friend of Charleston Stage,

We know these past seven months of uncertainty, distancing and waiting have been difficult for everyone.

Unfortunately, the return to normalcy still seems some time away—a time when it is safe again to gather indoors in significant numbers, for an extended time, to enjoy live performances at the Historic Dock Street Theatre.

So it is with great regret that we are writing to announce that our live, in-person performances at the Historic Dock Street Theatre have now been rescheduled to resume in the fall of 2021.

The safety of our patrons, casts and crews is the most important thing to us, and that has led us to this difficult decision. Broadway and most other leading theatres around the country have announced similar postponements. 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.

And while we have made deep strategic cuts in budgets and our staffing to sustain the work and mission of Charleston Stage, we are still here, imagining and creating. While there will be a pause in our live MainStage productions at the Dock Street Theatre, digital and streaming productions, virtual theatre classes are ongoing and new special outdoor performances are being planned for the spring. At the same time, sets and costumes for returning shows are under construction. 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.

If you have pending ticket vouchers or season memberships, the value of those tickets are safe and will be honored at a later date once the pandemic emergency subsides. Ticket holders for postponed or canceled productions, including season members, do not need to do anything at this time. Tickets will be rescheduled into corresponding performances or you will be issued a voucher for future use. Please note, our Box Office staff will be contacting all ticket holders by May 1, 2021, with more details. We regret that due to financial challenges caused by the pandemic, we are not able to offer cash refunds.

When our live, in-person performances and MainStage season return to the Dock Street Theatre in the fall, our season lineup will be modified, as it will take some time to restore our full 29 person production team. The new MainStage season will open with slightly smaller, but fully professional productions. These include A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline and Tick, Tick… Boom!, a musical by the creator of Rent. Larger full-scale productions will follow with A Christmas Story, Murder on the Orient Express, and the previously scheduled Kinky Boots as our grand finale. We’re excited that our reimagined season will also include the South Carolina premiere of the acclaimed Black Pearl Sings, which includes a score of Gullah folk songs and spirituals.

Past streamed events have included our online, encore recorded productions of The Seat of Justice and Nevermore! Voyage Into the Netherworld. An encore recorded production of A Christmas Carol will follow this December, and additional streaming and live outdoor performances will be announced soon. We look forward to sharing those with you, and have great confidence that the best is yet to come.

We miss you and can’t wait until the curtain can safely rise again. For now, we ask for your patience and support as we navigate this challenging time, setting sail for better days to come.

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