Salt Lake Acting Company Announces Cancellation of SATURDAY'S VOYEUR
Salt Lake Acting Company today announced the cancellation of its summer 2020 production of SATURDAY'S VOYEUR. The six-week rehearsal process for the production, created each year by Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht, was originally to have kicked off today, May 4th, for a June opening. As of May 1st, social distancing guidelines given by Governor Gary Herbert still restrict gatherings of more than 20 people, even when abiding by the "6-foot rule." The theatre's usual capacity for a performance of SATURDAY'S VOYEUR is 206, which does not include the cast, band, or theatre staff.
"Our commitment to the health of our artists and audience is of the utmost importance. The decision to postpone or outright cancel a production is never one that we take lightly, but in this case, the choice has been made for us," said Executive Artistic Director Cynthia Fleming. "Governor Herbert's plan for cautiously reopening the economy, while maintaining appropriate social distancing protocol, makes it infeasible to move forward with a production this summer." She added, "To our loyal subscriber and patron base, please know that SLAC's board of directors, staff, and artists eagerly await your return when we kick off our 50th season at some point this fall."
Because the theatre will remain dark throughout the summer, SLAC is using the time to make renovations to its historic home, which was built as a Mormon ward house in 1890. In support of the company's continuing efforts to make theatre accessible to all, a brand new elevator will be installed in the theatre's lobby. This will result in an expansion of the restroom facilities on the theatre's lower level, as well as a reconfigured box office. The project will be funded in part by the newly-created Amberlee Accessibility Fund, named in memory of SLAC patron Amberlee Hatton-Ward.
Amberlee, who used a wheelchair and an alternative means of communication, enjoyed SLAC's children's productions annually until her passing in October, 2019. A celebration of life was held by her mother, Shauna, at a performance of PETE THE CAT this past holiday season.
"Our charming building is as much a part of the SLAC experience as the theatre we produce, but that experience is not the same for everyone," said Fleming. "For patrons who use wheelchairs or need accommodations to get upstairs, participating in our work can be a considerable challenge. Yet, despite these challenges, patrons keep coming back." She continued, "While we've made small progress over the years to help all patrons gain access to the theatre, this improvement will make our Upstairs Theatre fully wheelchair accessible. And in large part, it's being made possible because of Amberlee and her incredible mother Shauna, who is seeing that her daughter's legacy brings theatre and joy to those who may need it most."
Generous support is also being lent to the project by ASSIST, a non-profit community design center that leverages architecture, planning, and construction to provide equitable housing and transportation choices for all communities.
Current SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2020 ticket holders will be contacted directly by SLAC staff to discuss ticketing options, which include a refund, a gift certificate to be used toward future ticket purchases/season subscriptions, or the option to donate to the Amberlee Accessibility Fund.
SLAC currently plans to announce the lineup for its historic 50th Season this summer. For more information about the theatre, visit saltlakeactingcompany.org or call 801-363-7522.