ANTIGONISH: After weeks of careful deliberation, the staff and board of Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre (FAST) has decided to postpone the company’s entire 33rd season until the summer of 2021.
FAST joins a growing list of theatres which have made the difficult choice for the show not to go on. This is a devastating decision for both the company and the community it serves – it will affect lives, livelihoods, community health, the local cultural landscape, and the regional economy. Nevertheless, FAST believes that postponing the season is the right move in the interest of public health and safety and in deference to an abundance of caution. Theatre relies on communities gathering together to share an experience, in real time, and in person. It is this magical exchange that makes this art form unique – and it is also this very exchange that necessitates this announcement.
Thoughts remain with all those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as FAST continues to explore new and interesting ways to stay connected in this difficult time. While the 2020 season will not proceed as planned, FAST is monitoring the situation carefully and will be ready to adapt to new guidelines and change course as needed, and as often as necessary, until doors can safely once again.
To our Festival Antigonish artists, and to all fellow theatre artists across the country, we know that these are trying times as you have been separated from your passion and your livelihood,” a statement from FAST reads. “At a moment when staying home is the only safe and responsible thing to do, we are reminded more than ever of the many powerful ways in which theatre brings people together, and we remain confident that we will get through this together as well.
“To our sponsors, donors, volunteers, and patrons, we are grateful for your dedication and support over the years. You have carried us through difficult times before, and we will be reaching out once again for any help you can provide. Eighty per cent of our annual budget relies on box office and private contributions, so the financial fallout from this pandemic will be significant.”
In May, FAST will be announcing the launch of the “FAST Friends” campaign. This campaign will provide an array of opportunities to support Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre – including donations, pledges, in-kind contributions, and gift certificates – for those who might be in a position to give.]
FAST thanked its wonderful and loyal audience members for staying by their side. FAST looks forward to welcoming them back to the theatre when the time is right. FAST will be in touch soon with options for those with a gift voucher or a season pass for 2020.
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