In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and during a time of uncertainty, Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre Company has made the definitive decision to cancel their 2020 season.
Upcoming and highly anticipated productions of ‘St Joan of the Stockyards’, ‘Grug’, ‘The Happiest Prince’, and ‘Brothers Book Club’ have all been cancelled as the iconic theatre closes its physical doors for the foreseeable future.
While La Boite Theatre recognises the loss such a decision brings to creatives and audiences alike, they believe this move will ultimately be beneficial.
“We investigated every possible option to postpone or reschedule programmed work, however, the unpredictability of the situation prevents us from doing so in 2020”, La Boite explained in a public statement issued on their website.
With their planned mainstage productions not continuing in 2020, La Boite Theatre aims to stand as a pillar in the Brisbane performing arts scene and explore new and innovative options for creative development. As such, the company has announced their Artists in Residence program will continue in an alternative digital format to bolster the theatre industry as it moves through a time of uncertainty.
With what would have been their celebratory 95th year of operation, La Boite Theatre Company has become the nation’s longest continuously running theatre, having survived the perils, changes, and joys of the theatre industry for almost a century.
La Boite Artistic Director and CEO, Todd MacDonald, indicated that all possible outcomes were investigated before the final conclusion was made.
“To have to cancel our season is gut-wrenching. It’s the first time in our 95-year history and it is a profoundly sad and sobering experience,” said MacDonald.
“My heart goes out to the artists whose work will not be seen and to our audiences who will miss world premieres of some of the city’s most exciting new Australian works.”
La Boite Theatre is committed to providing opportunities for artists and audiences and will continue to do so as social distancing measures are put in place. The company will continue to support the creatives involved in their season and will investigate new development opportunities, project partnerships and repurposing skills and talent.
La Boite Executive Director, Zohar Spatz, spoke of the upsetting decision and how it was crucial to make a timely decision so the company remains strong for future seasons.
“The arts is an essential industry in Queensland, providing thousands of jobs, championing internationally-renowned artists and works, and epitomising the breadth and diversity of this state,” Spatz said.
“La Boite supports all government action that provides relief for individuals, small businesses and organisations affected by the ongoing crisis. The arts industry is based on innovation and creativity and we believe that creative problem solving and storytelling will provide the inspiration needed for La Boite to recover and ultimately thrive.”
While a number of the company’s school and educational programs will not be able to continue, La Boite Theatre has already uploaded a number of free online resources for teachers and students to continue their educational influence in the community.
The cancellation of La Boite Theatre’s 2020 season joins the ranks of a multitude of creative ventures that have been put on pause in response to this crisis, however, the resilience of the creative industries is continuously displayed.
La Boite Theatre Company’s box office staff will contact ticket holders and season pass holders to discuss a full refund, credit or donating their ticket cost to help artists. Audiences are asked to remain patient while the company navigates this difficult time.
For more information about the cancellation of their 2020 season, visit La Boite Theatre Company’s website/.