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Williamstown season among latest cancelations; SPAC ‘closely monitoring’ the situation

Williamstown season among latest cancelations; SPAC ‘closely monitoring’ the situation

Williamstown Theatre Festival will offer audio versions of its productions, however
Williamstown season among latest cancelations; SPAC ‘closely monitoring’ the situation
Photographer: michael lutch

The Boston Pops spring season at Tanglewood has been canceled. The season was set to include a celebration of the 25th-year anniversary of conductor Keith Lockhart, pictured.


In light of COVID-19, more venues around the greater Capital Region are canceling shows and adapting their summer seasons.

On Wednesday, Boston Symphony Orchestra announced the cancellation of its Boston Pops spring season. The Williamstown Theatre Festival also announced the cancelation of its summer stage performances.

Instead, the festival’s format will change. Audio versions of the scheduled productions will be created and made available on Audible, according to Many Greenfield, the artistic director. 

The Williamstown Theatre Festival schedule includes a world premiere of “Cult of Love” by Leslye Headland, “Photograph 51” by Anna Ziegler, and “A Street Car Named Desire,” starring Audra McDonald, Carla Gugino and Bobby Cannavale, among other productions. 

“We will make the season of new work we planned to make. We will create seven new productions with Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, in a format safe to elevate, entertain, transport, reveal, unmask and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes,” Greenfield said in a statement.  

According to the festival’s website, those who donate $600 or more to the festival will receive special access to the season on Audible. 

The Boston Pops spring season, which was scheduled to run from May 6-June 13, canceled its performances outright. It marks the second time in its 135-year history that a season has been canceled. 

The season was supposed to celebrate Keith Lockhart’s 25th-year anniversary as the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops conductor. 

“It is well known that challenging times can bring out the very best in people, as they rally around profoundly difficult circumstances and put community before self, remembering the well-being of their neighbor, and focusing on better times ahead,” Lockhart wrote in a statement. 

While the summer 2020 season at Tanglewood hasn't been canceled or postponed, organizers are planning to make a decision about whether or not to hold summer programming by mid-May. 

In the Capital Region, Proctors closed its doors on March 13 and all public events are postponed until further notice, including at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs and theRep in Albany. 

The Albany Symphony Orchestra has rescheduled its performances through May. Its April 13 concert scheduled for the Palace Theatre has been rescheduled for September 12 and 13 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The all-Gershwin concerts scheduled for May 9 and 10 at the Hall will be performed on October 10 at the Palace Theatre. The programming for the 2020 American Music Festival in Troy, scheduled for May 28-30 will be incorporated into the 2021 Festival.   

At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, two Live Nation shows originally scheduled for this summer have been canceled, including performances by Celtic Woman and Zac Brown Band.

The scheduled classical shows, like the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, have not been postponed or canceled as of yet, though SPAC’s President and CEO, Elizabeth Sobol, said they’re monitoring the situation.

“SPAC is not currently announcing any cancellations, but we are closely monitoring the rapidly changing conditions. We are very cognizant of the serious economic impact on the city if SPAC pulls back on programming, but the health and safety of the community is our first priority. We want to take our time making these decisions so that we can make the right ones," Sobol said.

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