COVID is “Rotten to the Core”
Although still weeks away from opening the first MainStage production in the company’s 102nd Season, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) feels that it is in the best interest of its littlest patrons to postpone all performances of DISNEY’S DESCENDANTS: THE MUSICAL, slated to run October 9 – 17, 2021 at the Taft Theatre to the 22-23 season.
When the Pandemic originally started, TCT formed a COVID Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of representatives from the medical community, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and TriHealth, members of the TCT Board of Trustees, and staff. Since March 2020, this Committee’s recommendations have allowed TCT to safely navigate this very tenuous time, and the company is leaning on them again for direction.
The COVID Ad Hoc Committee feels it is TCT’s responsibility to help protect those who can’t protect themselves as a vaccine is not yet available for children ages 12 and under. Because MainStage audiences are mostly comprised of this particular age group, the group feels it would not be prudent to hold performances at the Taft Theatre this October.
“At The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, there is one thing we know for sure: you can always count on us to keep your children safe. Upon seeing a first-hand increase in the number of children contracting COVID, with the Delta variant on the rise, increasing hospitalizations for children with respiratory conditions, and growing breakthrough cases for vaccinated adults, our COVID Committee feels this situation will likely get worse before it gets better,” says Kim Kern, TCT’s Managing Director and CEO.
Roderick Justice, Producing Artistic Director, echoes that sentiment saying, “Our productions pit the heroes against the villains, and there is no villain more insidious right now than COVID-19 and its variants. We will continue to monitor the local situation and heed advice from our Committee as well as national recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. We want performances at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati to be a safe space filled with wonder, not worry.”
TCT 21-22 subscription holders will receive a refund equal to one-quarter of the original subscription price. Being the nation’s oldest children’s theatre, the company has kept going and growing through the generosity of loyal patrons who believe in the company’s mission. Patrons who choose to donate their ticket price back to TCT are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, August 25. Refunds will automatically appear on patrons’ credit card statements.
As of right now, TCT plans to keep ELF THE MUSICAL JR. on the schedule in December, as well as ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL JR. in February 2022 and THE WIZ JR. in April 2022.
TCT will continue its slate of touring productions as well as digital programming available online.
Last year, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s touring season was redesigned with the ability to perform shows at schools and community venues either in-person or through two different styles of digital presentations: A streamed version of the show through Broadway on Demand, or the brand new “Pick-A-Path” Series, where audiences choose their own adventure and get to decide how they want the story to end. This blended interactive storytelling gives audiences an experience they will never forget. In-person performances include a live, post-show talk-back with actors to engage students in the production’s message. For digital performances, teachers will have the opportunity to schedule a live, post-show talk-back via Zoom.