Topeka Civic Theatre cancels fall shows

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Civic Theatre announced Wednesday it’s canceling its shows set for the fall and suspending business operations.

This will take effect Sept. 1. The theatre’s summer schedule and summer camp will continue as scheduled, according to a news release.

The theatre said the cancellations were due to the coronavirus pandemic.

You can read the full statement below.

Today the Board of Directors of Topeka Civic Theatre announced the suspension of TCT’S 2020 fall lineup and business operations.

“Please know the safety of our patrons, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. As is the fiscal health and long-term viability of our beloved theatre. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility,” said Janet Stanek, TCT Board Chair.

Our summer schedule, including Matilda The MusicalShrek Jr., Freshman Class, Laugh Lines and summer camp will continue as scheduled. Helen Hocker Theater’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest will still open as scheduled. This suspension of operations will take effect of September 1, 2020. We will continue to closely monitor County, State and CDC guidelines and recommendations.

Since the pandemic struck, we have worked hard to find a pathway to keep live theatre on stage in Topeka. However, after very careful consideration, we have made the determination that none of the scenarios we developed are feasible. As a result, we have had to make one of the most difficult decisions ever made at TCT. In the end there was no other choice that would preserve the long-term viability of the theatre.

After cancelling 6 productions and multiple performance company performances, the theatre has exhausted all available funds. Until the necessary social distancing recommendations are relaxed, it will not be financially responsible for the theatre to produce plays and musicals. Approximately 60% of TCT operating expenses are covered by ticket sales and class tuitions. The remaining 40% are supported by donations and grants.

This difficult decision was made to keep TCT alive and help to stabilize our cash position so that we can make it to the other side of this crisis, healthy and strong. The financial toll on TCT this past spring and cancelling our fall 2020 season is tremendous. When it’s time to reopen we will need your help and financial support. Please consider a donation that is meaningful to you and plan on purchasing a season membership for our abbreviated season.

TCT manages Helen Hocker Theater for Shawnee County Parks & Recreation. Operations at Helen Hocker Theater will be suspended for the same time period.

The Board will closely monitor the health of the community and the recommendations of State and County officials on social distancing and mass gatherings. When it is deemed fiscally viable, the staff will be called back from furlough and preparations for the next productions and Academy classes will begin.

Soon after reopening, TCT and HHT’s remaining season lineup will be announced. TCT will also be introducing a new season membership package, with four flexible tickets. Our traditional eight-ticket membership will continue to be available.

Questions can be directed to TCT’s President & CEO, Vickie Brokke (785.478.5013) or CEO@TopekaCivicTheatre.com).

Thank you and we appreciate your continued support as a member of our TCT family

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