On Thursday, Company of Fools—the professional theater arm of the Sun Valley Museum of Art—formally announced the cancellation of its 25th anniversary season and all associated programming, citing ongoing COVID-19 precautions, actor safety concerns and community feedback.
Company of Fools is hoping to reopen the Liberty Theatre in July 2021 with a full slate of plays, workshops, festivals and other programs.
“Sadly, we are facing a perfect storm,” said Company of Fools Producing Artistic Director Scott Palmer. “Not only are we facing serious restrictions on our work due to the ongoing health crisis, but also uncertainty from the union representing professional actors, clear indications from our patrons about their unwillingness to attend live theatre indoors, and significant loss of ticket income from reductions in ticket sales.
“As a result, we have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel our 25th Anniversary Season.”
The season was projected to start Sept. 9 with a production of the award-winning comedy “Educating Rita” by Willy Russell. Theresa Rebeck’s “Bad Dates” was supposed to follow, then Oscar Wilde’s seminal comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest” would round out 2020 before “Balloonacy” by Barry Kornhauser and “The Gun Show” by E.M. Lewis closed the season in the spring of 2021.
“We are heartbroken to not be able to bring theatre to our community until 2021—live theatre remains an integral part of Sun Valley Museum of Art,” said Christine Davis-Jeffers, executive director of SVMoA. “We remain focused on our future, more committed than ever to our mission, and motivated to keep bringing the arts to you in creative, engaging ways.”
Company of Fools will contact patrons who have already purchased tickets for any of the 25th season plays to discuss refund and donation options.
“I strongly encourage all of our Foolish fans and family members to consider making a donation to CoF at this extremely challenging time,” Palmer said. “We are going to need resources during our dark time—to maintain The Liberty Theatre, to support our staff, and to be ready for the Fools return in the summer of 2021. Your support is crucial.”
Company of Fools is a registered nonprofit organization, as is SVMoA. To learn more about the theater company at svmoa.org/company-of-fools.