March 19- The Public Theater, like many arts organizations, has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus crisis. As the forecasts and mandates rapidly change and worsen, businesses large and small and non-profits are scrambling for solutions and making heartbreaking and difficult decisions.
At The Public Theater, this week, we have enacted an emergency plan that focuses on long-term sustainability. Like many non-profits across the country, we have made heart-wrenching choices to lay off many of our valued employees, as well as make deep cuts in the hours and salaries of the remaining staff members. Our Board members are also making personal financial commitments to help keep operating expenses covered.
In these uncharted economic waters, we cannot give any definitive answers on when our next show or activity will resume. What we can promise is that we are employing our most diligent efforts to return your beloved theater to some sense of ‘normalcy’ as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we are investigating new platforms and ways to fulfill our mission of “Theater for All” even in the midst of this international crisis. In the spirit of Italian villages joining in song from their balconies, we continue to seek ways for artists to create and share their talents. We know many of our academy students are at home in need of connection, and we are working to find the most efficient platforms to continue to provide them with training.
Revenue generated by our recent season ticket renewal sales is earmarked for the next fiscal year, and we are doing all we can to avoid using those future funds to meet today’s expenses. We are determined that when this crisis has passed and we can ‘raise the curtain,’ we will be ready to do so because of the investment season subscribers made.
If you have purchased tickets for a cancelled performance, or missed a show because of self-quarantine, please rest assured that The Public Theater of San Antonio will honor all exchanges and ticket postponements with a seat at a future show. Refunds, while not the optimal solution, will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
How can you help?
Champion the arts and urge all levels of government to provide relief to the arts. Stress to local philanthropic foundations that arts organizations will need not only sustainability support but revitalization support.
Donate if you are able, and share the call to donate with your social network. You can support The Public Theater of San Antonio through this link: http://bit.ly/2UjYR8J
Plan for the future when this crisis has passed and purchase a season ticket now for the 2020-21 Season.
If you have purchased a ticket to a canceled show, consider treating that ticket price as a donation to the sustainability of The Public Theater.
Consider volunteering your abilities when we are able to resume operations.
Above all, we are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support during this difficult time. The number of emails, voice mails, and personal messages from our patrons has helped maintain the morale of staff and volunteers. I am also comforted by the continued collaboration and discussions among all our local theaters and arts organizations. I feel confident that when our world is restored, the San Antonio theater scene will be stronger than ever.
These are confusing and disturbing times across our planet. Remember when you can, to choose the path that art teaches us. Listen with the goal of understanding other perspectives. Be kind, supportive, and patient with every human you interact with. Love will prevail and theater is here.
March 15, 2020- UPDATE FROM THE PUBLIC THEATER OF SAN ANTONIO REGARDING ACTIVITIES AND PRODUCTIONS DUE TO COVID-19
The Public Theater of San Antonio is making adjustments to the remaining 2019 – 2020 Season.
Based on the recommendation of the CDC, the WHO, and local city officials: For the health and safety of our patrons, production members, and staff we have decided to postpone our production of Bright Star until April 24th (or potentially later as governed). We are postponing the current production of Admissions until further notice. The production of Bright Star will return with a strong five week run and we anticipate an encore performance of Admissions.
This schedule change makes a significant financial impact on the organization as well as impacts the future programs. We will be delaying the production of Lonely Planet until further notice and cancelling More Better Beautiful. We will cancel the production of Amelie but are hopeful to produce a concert version. We are investigating live video-streamed reading workshops of More Better Beautiful. The productions of Into the Woods and Fade remain on schedule.
The theater will be operating with limited staff until April 13th. Many arts organizations are facing heavy burdens due to lack of revenue and attendance caused by the important need to reduce the spread of the Corona virus. The Public Theater will be diligent with its mission and vision to create professional theater in San Antonio and Bexar County. We will honor all exchanges among the various production titles. We ask for your patience and kindness during these confusing times. If you are contemplating a refund, we encourage you (if able) to consider your ticket as contribution to the theater.
March 13, 2020- Last week, The Public Theater released information regarding the protocols and procedures being taken regarding COVID-19.The health and safety of our patrons, performers, crew, and staff are at the forefront of our decisions while delicately balancing the sustainability of the organization. Per the city’s recent regulations discouraging events of 250+ attendees, we have limited the seating of our upcoming production of Bright Star. The cast and team of the production are healthy and eager to provide the people of San Antonio this show’s message of hope and resilience. We believe that this production will provide comfort and strength during this stressful time. The Public will be instituting other operational changes. We will release more information in the next day regarding ancillary programming/activities. We encourage arts patrons to support us as well as other organizations that rely on your generosity.
March 10, 2020- The health, safety, and security of our patrons, staff, and artists is our highest priority. As our staff has been closely monitoring the risk of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) in our city, we have been taking major steps to prevent introduction and halt the spread of this virus in our community.
Currently, no performances, camps, workshops, etc. have been cancelled, but The Public staff is following the lead of the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and other top national, state, and local authorities on implementing recommended rigorous cleaning practices and strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Public Theater staff currently has in place a rigorous deep cleaning regimen twice a day during business days in all theaters, lobbies, offices, and shared space within our building. We are currently using EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) approved disinfectants on all interiors of our building. This includes armrests, seats, doorknobs, and other surfaces that patrons may come into contact with. Additionally, lobbies and restrooms have been equipped with multiple hand sanitizing stations and restrooms will continue to be fully replenished with disinfectant soaps for proper handwashing practices. During performance dates, our staff is being very attentive with cleaning procedures in the theaters and lobbies. Before and after each performance, all seats, armrests, doorknobs, and other surfaces are sprayed with disinfectant and also wiped clean with disinfectant towels. We are also making sure all playbills, subscriber/welcome cards, and trash are being disposed of properly.
If you are ever feeling any flu-like symptoms, we are encouraging patrons and staff to stay home and take the necessary steps to recover. If you do feel ill, we will gladly exchange your ticket and waive fees on exchanges. We will remain attentive and vigilant as time progresses and will make decisions as conditions change or the needs of our patrons, staff, or artists change.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us at (210) 733-7258. We thank you for your patronage to The Public Theater of San Antonio and we look forward to seeing you at the theater!