MANSFIELD – The Mansfield Playhouse, in response to growing concerns over the COVID-19 spread, has decided to postpone current productions until further notice, and it is deemed safe for volunteers and patrons to return.
“Though we do not have any direct cases within our current participants, we have several different cast members and patrons coming from several different surrounding areas,” artistic director Doug Wertz said in a news release. “This has become a concern for maintaining the ability to control the safety and effectiveness of our recent protective measures to not be a contributing factor to the spread within our community.”
This will be the second time this year the Playhouse has shut down. Officials made the decision in March to shut down production on the last three shows of the season, two days before Gov. Mike DeWine ordered a shutdown.
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“We saw the writing on the wall and knew it was the right thing to do on our part for the original assumed 15-day mitigation process,” Wertz said.
On Dec. 4, the Playhouse was preparing to open with a holiday favorite, “A Christmas Story.”
Wertz was tasked with breaking the news to the cast, family members and crew.
“We ask that you all stay connected with our communication as we want to continue this production with the stellar cast all of you have become,” Wertz said. “Even if we have to have Christmas in July!”
The Playhouse plans on eventually reopening the theater with that production.
The Playhouse is the second oldest, highest continually producing community theater in Ohio and also is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The mission is to offer quality entertainment at affordable pricing and building community through the experience of live theater.
Seating has already been limited to 30% capacity, and then only after a variance from the original 15% order was filed with local and state health officials.
Currently involved as a participant in Richland Gives through the Richland County Foundation fundraising campaign, the Playhouse staff would appreciate tax-deductible donations to help cover operating expenses during the suspension.
Opportunities are available for them also to receive matching funds with donations.
Ticket holders will have options to maintain their purchases or get a full refund by contacting the box office at 419-522-2883 or emailing their request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch for further updates at mansfieldplayhouse.com and on their Mansfield Playhouse page on Facebook.