American Players Theater Cancels Their 2020 Season

This isn’t the news that I was expecting…not news that I wanted to hear. I hadn’t ordered my tickets for the season yet because I was waiting to see how the summer was going to shake out and how the safer at home programs were going to be administered. I have only missed one season since 2002…and I had really hoped to squeeze a play into the summer.

But here is the news from the email that I received this afternoon:

We have some news. And it’s not the news we were hoping to share today.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, and for the safety of us all, we have made the painful decision to cancel APT’s 2020 season. With so much research garnering so few answers, and knowing that venues hosting large public gatherings will be among the last to reopen, we do not see a path to a summer season this year. We’ve included some information below on ways you can see a bit of APT in the coming months. But first, there are a few things we’d like you to know.

First of all, we miss you. Wow, do we miss you. As we continue to work in the ways we are able, the recurring theme from our actors and artists and staff is how palpable it is that you, our incredible audience, are not with us in person. It’s difficult to fathom that, at a time when we’re all craving a deeper connection, we have to take care of each other by keeping to ourselves. So while we regret that we won’t see you as soon as we’d like, we’re working on some beautiful ways to be together while we’re apart. The first of those endeavors is the “Out of the Woods” series, which you can read about below.

Second, you will still have the chance to see this season in full. Our plan is to move this group of glorious plays to 2021 en masse. So while the 2020 season may be cancelled, the stories within it are simply delayed. In the meantime, if we can safely do so, we’re looking into producing different plays later in the year. And we promise that as soon as we know if that is possible, you’ll know.

Finally, please consider a tax-deductible donation. Cancelling our season will be an unprecedented hardship for APT, as we stand to lose 75% of our annual income. Your support will help sustain our acting company, staff and property so we can rise to this enormous challenge and preserve the APT that you know and love.

The APT Board and APT Foundation Board are leading the charge. We’re proud to announce that they have offered to match all income from donations – dollar for dollar – up to $750,000 between now and June 5. Please help us to realize this amazing gift and to show your support for APT’s future. There are many other benefits to donating, including a new one: exclusive content created by APT’s Core Company. Get all the details about that and the other benefits here. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

What happens in these woods, on these stages…it’s special. The combination of these exquisite stories, these actors, this audience – that’s not something that just happened. It’s been a four-decade labor of love. And it’s clear that there is much more hard work to come. And, like everything else that happens here, we cannot do it without you. We have endured tough times before, and this may prove to be the toughest yet. But we know that, with you on our side, we will be able to return to our Hill again. Until then, we are with you from afar.

We’re very excited to announce that APT has partnered with PBS Wisconsin to bring you Out of the Woods, a virtual play reading series featuring APT’s Core Acting Company, along with a few other great actors. These play readings will be posted on the PBS Wisconsin website on the dates below, and be available to view for free for a limited time.

Out of the Woods::

Chekhov One Acts By Anton Chekhov. Directed by Aaron Posner Friday, June 5 Three stories about the complexities of love and life; marriage and moving on, last seen at APT in 1985 and 1986.

As You Like It By William Shakespeare. Directed by John Langs A quite-nearly-perfect Shakespearian comedy, featuring one of his greatest heroines.

Arms and The Man By George Bernard Shaw. Directed by William Brown Friday, June 19 Love and war collide in a uniquely Shavian fashion when an “enemy” soldier climbs in through the idealistic Raina’s window.

Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare. Directed by Stephen Brown-Fried Friday, June 26 Growing unease over Caesar’s popularity spreads through Rome, spurring good people to do terrible deeds.

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been… By Carlyle Brown. Directed by David Daniel Friday, July 3 Writer and activist Langston Hughes faces down his fears by writing a poem on the eve of his appearance before the Senate Committee on Investigations on Un-American Activities.

An Improbable Fiction By James DeVita. Directed by Tim Ocel Friday, July 10 A world-premiere reading of James DeVita’s new play, told largely in Shakespeare’s own words. It’s plague time, and Shakespeare’s characters reunite at The Boar’s Head Tavern to celebrate life, and ruminate on the state of the world.

For more information please visit : American Players Theater