It’s been almost a year now since we had to cut short our production of Lucy Prebble’s The Effect. At that time, the early close of production was an unnerving event for us—certainly something I had never experienced in four decades of theater productions. “The show must go on?” At the time, we thought we’d buckle down for a few months and be back in the saddle. So hopeful were we that we began working on our next production. Little did we know what was in store. I mean, here we are, nearly a year later, and we still don’t know for sure what’s in store for the rest of 2021.
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Prospect Theater Project is canceling the remainder of our 2020-2021 season.
I don’t have to tell you how wildly unpredictable this all is. Even with the vaccination underway, messaging from city, county, state, and federal levels is shifting constantly, often from day to day, sometimes from hour to hour. The COVID virus itself is morphing, with new variants still emerging, demanding new responses. Which is why we have had to make the tough decision to cancel the remainder of our season.
Canceling a season, especially our 20th anniversary season hasn’t been an easy decision. It’s fair to say it is a traumatic decision. But it’s the decision that is best for the safety of our community, our Prospect family, as well as the artistic integrity of our organization.
Though the target has been constantly on the move, Prospect has worked hard to hit it as much as we could: securing streaming rights for productions when those were available (they often weren’t) we set about mounting two full productions—Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days and Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s An Iliad— streaming live performances from the theater when it was permissible to do so, steaming them from our homes when safety rules tightened up.
The challenges of moving a live performance venue online are numerous and intense. Technically we are bound by limited bandwidth in our K Street home, and often at the mercy of programs, apps, and the stability of internet access. Artistically, the challenges are even more profound. We are a theater company. We are not a film company. As you all know, live theater is a unique and wonderful experience. At Prospect we strive to do more that just do shows. We strive to create experiences for our audiences, and invite our audiences create experiences with us. Without our audiences there is no active dialog, no communion between performer and patron that is the irreducible essence of a meaningful theater experience at PTP.
To our season subscribers, be on the lookout for an email from PTP discussing options for your season tickets.
We promise that as soon as possible we’ll be back to presenting the intimate, innovative, and insightful productions you’ve come to expect and rely on from PTP. In the interim we will continue to offer work that we can present safely: The PTP Radio Cavalcade, our Playreading Project, and our new live Arts Forum, Prospectus.
Meanwhile, stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, social distance and look forward, as we do, to seeing each other at the theater.