May 29, 2020
By now, you know what’s coming when I send an email with this subject line: more sad news for you, our loyal patrons.
On May 7, Governor Kate Brown announced that large gatherings will be canceled in Oregon through September. The announcement sent the Pentacle Theatre governing board to work on exploring options. Can we create the experience that our patrons and volunteers have come to love during our 66-year history while keeping everyone safe?
The answer is, sadly, no. The theater cannot safely audition, rehearse and produce a show of the quality to which you are accustomed. We cannot reasonably expect audiences to willingly return to our space in numbers sufficient for shows to break even. We understand: your health is priceless.
The Pentacle Theatre governing board has had to make some very difficult decisions. We’re reaching out to you, our donors and patrons, to share all actions we are taking to prevent the spread of the virus and comply with state and federal guidance. Those actions are:
- Cancel the remainder of the 2020 season: The Fantasticks, Ripcord and Shrek.
- Cancel She Kills Monsters.
- Postpone Rabbit Hole.
- Postpone Company.
- Suspension of our acting workshops until schools reopen.
The watchword for these days is “uncertainty.” We simply don’t know when we will be able to return to our theater. We don’t know what measures must be in place for you to feel comfortable returning. So much is out of our control. Therefore, we’re turning our energy to the things within our control: shoring up the financial health of the theater through budget cuts, fundraising, grant writing and furloughing staff. We’re planning for the day we can reopen by establishing new practices and procedures that will ensure we can operate safely in the new normal. And, we’re exploring ways that we can bring our talents to you in new formats.
Service may be slower than usual
While our team is on furlough, June 15 through the end of July, our response times may be slower than usual. Even now, we are working from our homes most of the time, only coming into the office when necessary. During the furlough, work hours will be reduced to the minimum level required to keep operations running. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
There’s still a way to connect with Pentacle
I hope that you’ve been tuning in to our weekly series of video conversations we call “Behind the Mask.” It’s a socially distant way for us to reach out to you. We think you’ll enjoy this insight into Pentacle’s volunteers and history. Tune in on Facebook or YouTube.
What can you do with your tickets?
If you are able to donate your tickets, those donations will go toward supporting Pentacle’s operations. This will ensure that, when the time is right, your theater will be ready to entertain you or give you a place to perform or volunteer. We’re asking — before you request a refund — that you please consider the option of ticket donation first.
If you have tickets to a performance that has been canceled, you have three options:
- Donate your ticket(s) back to us; ticket donations are tax deductible and we will mail you a thank you and donation receipt. Your donation will offset the production costs that have already been incurred and will assist with providing future Pentacle productions. Thank you!
- Keep your tickets and use them for a later performance; we will mail you a voucher in the coming weeks.
- Request a refund. We understand that times are difficult and are willing to process a refund for you.
Let us know your preference here.
Please consider a donation during this time. Your donation – as you can imagine – is needed now, more than ever.
For more information:
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
The Oregon Health Authority
We will be hosting our first Pentacle Theatre Community Town Hall on Wednesday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Please email me your questions by June 8 so that we can prepare prior to the meeting. You can join the meeting with this link. If you’re asked for a password, enter 102551.
We miss you and cannot wait to be with you in our little theater as soon as we can safely do so.
Please, stay well.