While performance venues in BC are still allowed to operate at 50% capacity, and closed rehearsals are allowed to continue as a "workplace", the current situation with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has created an unacceptable risk to the success of this production.
As director, Nathan Linders, summarized the situation in recent communication with cast and crew, "By mandate of the PHO, any cold symptoms have to be treated as having the potential for Covid, and a cough, fever, etc. mean we have to self-isolate, meaning missed rehearsals or even missing performances. Given the speed with which Covid and the current common cold is racing through our communities it has become clear to me that counting on ten cast members and three to six critical backstage members getting through a two week span (during performances) without someone coming down with a cough are very low."
Already in December, three rehearsals had to be held with stand-ins for cast members in isolation and one rehearsal was cancelled outright. Rehearsals in the first week of January were also cancelled for the same reason.
The risk of last-minute show cancellations just seems unacceptably high at this point. SOAP has, therefore, decided to pull The Black Bonspiel off of this year's roster and reschedule it for next season.
Our spring show, When the Wind Blows, is still scheduled to proceed as scheduled (April 22-30). We hope to have rounded the current fifth wave of Covid by then. In addition, that show only has a two cast members, who live in the same house, so self-isolation are not a concern and any last-minute cancellations are much less of a risk.
Ticket holders for The Black Bonspiel will be contacted by Venables Theatre shortly with options to exchange tickets for our spring show, exchange for gift certificate credit that can be applied to next year's show(s), or to receive a refund.
We apologize for this unfortunate decision and thank all of our patrons for their ongoing support and understanding.