CONWAY, Ark. — The University of Central Arkansas has canceled Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actors, directors, designers and crew members were set to arrive in Conway in early May to begin the process of creating the three shows in AST’s 14th season, “As You Like It,” “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” and “Into the Woods.” Public performances were to begin in June.
The university made the decision based on forecasts projecting the COVID-19 virus infection rates may not reach peak levels until mid-June.
“We are deeply saddened that we will not create productions that have been such an integral part of summers in Conway. Obviously, this is not the time to physically be in the same place, but we will be with our artists, technicians and audience members in spirit and will prepare for a phenomenal 2021 season,” said Mary Ruth Marotte, executive director of AST.
“It gives me strength to think about making human connections through theatre again. When we emerge from this crisis, the theatre will be needed more than ever as we find our way back to each other,” said Rebekah Scallet, producing artistic manager of AST.
Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is the state’s only professional Shakespeare company and is proud to make its home on the UCA campus. Each summer, AST offers full productions of Shakespeare’s works, as well as other plays and musicals that help fulfill AST’s mission to entertain, engage and enrich the community. For more information, visit arkshakes.com or call (501) 852-0702.