In March, we took immediate action to ensure SCT’s ability to weather the pandemic. In short order, we cancelled much of our upcoming artistic programming and pivoted our educational programing online. We reduced our overall operating expenses by more than 60%. Unfortunately, this included a major reduction in staff, guest artists, directors, designers, and educators, many of whom we hope to bring back to work in 2021.
Looking forward, we are actively preparing and planning for in-person Drama School offerings as early as April 2021, as well as launching our next season with an in-person production for live audiences late in 2021. These plans are exciting first steps even as we know it will take years to recover from the impacts of this pandemic. We are grateful for the steady support of our community as we continue this recovery.
Despite all these challenges, creativity abounds at SCT and we have accomplished remarkable work. Our reach has exceeded expectations through our role as a national co-producer of the virtual production A Kid’s Play About Racism, and our 10-week partnership with Classic King FM 98.1 for Saturday Morning Stories. In addition to this artistic programming, our Education Team has found a nationwide audience for new offerings like Tablecloth Theatre and Master Class Series, and old favorites, like Story Drama, which have been reinvented as virtual offerings.
I know SCT’s future is bright. Our 45-year legacy of artistic excellence and creativity is guiding how we adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. We are ready to engage with our community with new and innovative theatre when the time is right.
We are using this time to reflect on the social justice issues in our community, specifically on the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) sector, of which we are apart. We have an opportunity to hire new Artistic and Production leadership, and re-think our pricing structure to become more accessible for all families, as we rebound from this year. We are prioritizing access for our public-school students and re-building connections with educators who we’ve greatly missed this year.
SCT has the power to spark joy, build empathy and inspire hope, and young people need these tools now more than ever.
I am unabashedly hopeful for the future. Since March we have prioritized meeting young people and families where they are, reinventing our programs to serve them in this moment, and carefully stewarding our resources as we plan for the future. Through all this we have learned lessons that we will carry with us as we envision the next chapter for SCT. We hope you will continue to join us on this journey.
This year has left an impact on each of us in its own way. I am wishing each of you and your families health and happiness as we close out 2020 and look to a bright future.
With gratitude and appreciation,
Managing Director, Seattle Children's Theatre