On top of killing off spring culture, the coronavirus pandemic is already taking a toll on the summer calendar: the 43rd season of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF), scheduled to kick off on June 26 with a special production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and run through Aug. 8, has been postponed until 2021.
A note issued today attributed the move “to decisions from the Illinois Governor’s office, Illinois State University leadership, and our creative partners throughout the world.”
ISF Artistic Director John Stark told The Pantagraph the festival’s cast and crew would be coming from across the country, giving rise to concerns about exposure to the COVID-19 virus. But Stark noted a silver lining: by canceling now rather than later in the game, ISF was able to avoid many costs.
In addition to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the festival’s lineup was slated to include Macbeth, Measure for Measure and One Man, Two Guvnors.
More from the cancellation announcement:
ISF’s producer and artistic director share this announcement with a heavy heart, but trust that it is the best action to take in order to protect the safety of patrons, employees, and the community at large […] The heart of theatre is bringing people together to tell stories. We wish you the best of health during this time and look forward to gathering again.