I write today to share that after extensive conversations with SCT’s Board of Trustees and following the guidance from the CDC and King County officials, we have made the difficult decision to forgo producing a 20-21 season.
We have been able to keep our options open thanks to our dedicated community of donors, patrons, and Seattle’s amazing collection of supportive funding agencies and foundations, but the reality of the coronavirus pandemic demands that we slow down. As a result, the Board of Trustees and I have made the difficult decision to eliminate 75% of all staff including our production team, teaching artists, administrative and artistic staff. Effective June 22, 18 employees and a reduced teaching artist faculty will remain on staff and our focus for the year will be to support young people, families, and educators through SCT Drama School, Arts Based Learning and Community Engagement. We are also re-committing our efforts to create more equitable programming and inclusive environments for our patrons, students and staff when we reopen.
Like so many of us, this year has been extraordinarily difficult, but despite our current situation, we are optimistic for what the future holds. These decisions were made with the mission of SCT held close, so that we can remain nimble, adapt to the changing world, and emerge financially sound when we return to the stage.
As we have all grappled with the significant losses to the arts and culture sector, it has become apparent that theatre is more important than ever; it builds empathy, ignites joy, amplifies the voices of young people and inspires confidence in our shared hope for the future. We need these things now and in the days to come, and we look forward to celebrating the art making that has been a part of this community for 45 years. When the time is right, I hope you will join us when we reopen and begin SCT’s next chapter.