COVID Exposures Lead Florida Studio Theater to Delay Comedy Opening

The Florida Studio Theater is postponing the opening of the hit Broadway and London comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong” by a week due to what it calls COVID-related complications.

The play about the misadventures that befall an amateur theater group trying to put on the fictional thriller ‘The Murder at Haversham Manor’ was due to start on Wednesday. Due to prior exposure to COVID, some cast members had to rehearse with the others online. The show will now begin previews on January 26, and the broadcast has been extended for a week until March 20.

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“It’s ironic that ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is the production whose opening we have to delay, but it seems fitting since this has been the year (or two) that has ‘gone wrong’ for all of us”, said general manager Rebecca Hopkins in a statement. “There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we will get there together. “The Play That Goes Wrong” is about that: finding our way through the chaos. »

COVID has impacted a number of local arts organizations, and last week FST suspended performances of its world premiere play “America in One Room” due to COVID exposures. Production resumed on Saturday.

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Earlier in the month, the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe postponed the opening of its world premiere musical ‘Ruby’, which is now set to start next week. And the Sarasota Orchestra was forced to cancel a Masterworks Concrete Weekend Jan. 7-9, then changed the schedule for last week’s Great Escapes concerts due to COVID exposures. The orchestra moved to a concert with only strings, piano and percussion, musicians able to play their instruments while wearing masks.

Key Chorale delayed the performance of its “Choral Splendor in 40 parts” concert program until May due to travel issues involving guest artists, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra canceled its Florida tour, forcing a delay in the beginning of the new season of the Sarasota Concert Association.

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Hopkins said 80,000 people have attended in-person performances at the FST since the theater reopened in March, but “the omicron variant has had a real impact on the business.”

Everyone involved in the theater was vaccinated and “no one got seriously ill. However, people are getting sick. And when that happens, they are out of work for at least five days”, but sometimes for seven to ten days. These absences put a strain on the staff and the actors’ companies. “We are ‘duplicates’ of each other, from production to marketing to development to box office.”

For more information on FST performance: 941-366-9000;

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