Melbourne Theatre Company cancels next six productions

MTC The Heartbreak ChoirMelbourne Theatre Company has announced the cancellation of its next six productions in a bid to ensure business continuity during this global health crisis.

Berlin, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, The Heartbreak Choir, Fun Home and True West will not go ahead in 2020 as scheduled. This follows the earlier cancellations of Torch the Place and Emerald City. MTC’s Education Production SLAP. BANG. KISS. has also had its season and regional tour cancelled but will go ahead as a filmed performance for distribution to schools in order to meet VCE study requirements.

“This is a heartbreaking but essential decision to ensure MTC survives this unprecedented time in our history and to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, artists , subscribers and donors,” said MTC Artistic Director & CEO Brett Sheehy AO and MTC Executive Director & Co-CEO Virginia Lovett.

The 2020 Season will resume in September with As You Like It, pending further developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and Government directives. Berlin, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, The Heartbreak Choir, Fun Home and True West will all be rescheduled to appear in MTC’s 2021 Season.

“It is utterly gut-wrenching to cancel more than half this year’s performances,” said Sheehy and Lovett. “For our sector, the velocity and enormity of this crisis is unparalleled. The stresses it has dealt to the working and personal lives of our staff, the company and the artistic community are deeply distressing and we stand in solidarity with our peers and colleagues across the creative industries.”

“We are determined to ensure MTC remains an ongoing vibrant and vital arts institution to this city.  We want to return to normal programming as soon as possible – providing employment to our artistic community and rewarding our loyal audiences with the highest quality productions for which we are renowned.”

“In order to do so we desperately need the support of our passionate audiences. Over the past week we have been buoyed by the avalanche of messages of support, and we sincerely thank those who have so generously donated their tickets back to MTC following the earlier cancellations of Torch the Place and Emerald City performances.”

Gestures such as these are the lifeblood of our community and we ask that this is again considered by ticket holders as they look at their options for the six cancelled productions. Support of this kind and additional donations are essential to help our Company recover.”

“In times of social distress and disruption, the power of the arts to bring people together, brighten our days and lift our spirits is stronger than ever. During this time, MTC will be regularly sharing a range of special editorial and theatrical content to stay connected with our audiences and community online.”

“MTC is a Victorian cultural icon. In our 67-year history we have been through tough times before and come through them together – and we will do so once again,” said Sheehy and Lovett.

Ticket holders to all cancelled productions have the options of returning their ticket as a tax-deductible donation to MTC, exchanging into one of the remaining 2020 productions, receiving credit towards the 2021 season, or can obtain a refund. Details about each of these options can be found on MTC’s website.

Dates for the productions rescheduled to 2021 will be announced later in the year. For more information, visit: www.mtc.com.au for details.

Image: The Heartbreak Choir – courtesy of Melbourne Theatre Company

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