By Tammy Schneider
Kincardine Theatre Guild (KTG) is looking beyond 2020, after cancelling its November production of Beauty and the Beast. This is the first time in the theatre’s history it has cancelled a musical.
The amateur theatre offers three performances each year during their September to May season. The Photograph, ran as scheduled in February, before the pandemic became news and closures were implemented worldwide. Curse of the Silver Pharoah, scheduled to run in May, was postponed, and now Beauty and the Beast has been postponed as well.
While not scheduled to run until November, the board of directors decided last week to follow the lead of the Stratford Festival, Mirvish Productions and other prominent theatres, and postpone all 2020 shows.
“We decided to be cautious,” said Guild president Sarah Foster. “”We didn’t want to cast (now) and then have to cancel. We decided to follow those leads as well.”
All shows, especially prominent titles such as Beauty and the Beast, carry significant costs to purchase the rights to produce the plays. In light of the pandemic, the Guild has obtained permission to extend its rights to the 2021-22 season, so it won’t suffer any additional costs.
“We’ve been very lucky,” said Foster. “A local author from Waterloo (who wrote Curse of the Silver Pharaoh) carried over rights to Feb 2021.”
The 2021-22 lineup is poised to be a crowd-pleaser. Curse of the Silver Pharaoh is scheduled to run in February, The Rocky Horror Picture Show will run in May and Beauty and the Beast will run from Nov. 12 to Dec. 4, 2021.
The Guild is currently seeking producers for Beauty and the Beast, and anyone interested can contact Jennifer Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Guild welcomes people without experience, and can arrange mentoring opportunities for those new to the theatre.
Foster notes that everything depends on how the province reopens, and when the size of gatherings expands to allow for a theatre crowd. The board is carefully following advice from public health and acknowledges a “second wave” of COVID-19 will change plans. Performing a live theatre production is not at all like playing a sport without the fans, she said.
The Guild has also postponed its annual general meeting, along with the election of board members, which was supposed to take place in May, to Sept. 2020. All positions will remain “as is” until then.
While Guild activity on the stage and behind the scenes is on hold, it continues to offer encouragement and funding to those in need. It recently presented the Kincardine Food Bank with a cheque for $1,000.
“We are still trying to give back to the community, even though we aren’t putting shows on,” said Foster.
By Tammy Schneider