TAMPA — Jobsite Theater, already amid suspension of their production of “Doubt, A Parable,” announced that it has canceled both Bertolt Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Artuo Ui” and “Rajiv Joseph’s “Animals Out of Paper” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Resistible Rise of Artuo Ui” was scheduled to run May 15 through June 7. Performances of “Animals Out of Paper” would have run July 17 through Aug. 9. At this time, Jobsite still hopes to complete the run “Doubt” as soon as it is deemed safe and prudent to do so.
“The current health crisis clearly makes it impossible for us to do what we do in any way — rehearsals or performance — and with the timelines and circumstances so unclear we need to make this move now to protect ourselves from further financial harm,” said David M. Jenkins, producing artistic director at Jobsite. “We are saddened by these cancellations and deeply regret our inability to provide this meaningful work for our regional artists and the opportunity for Tampa Bay area audiences to experience a pair of amazing stories, but this is the right thing to do. As far as ‘Doubt’ goes, the show is paid for and ready — literally sitting there in the theater — and we hope to welcome audiences into our home for another great reckoning in our little room by the summer.”
As soon as Jobsite has new dates for “Doubt,” ticketholders will be contacted to work out a new performance. For ticketholders to “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” and “Animals Out of Paper,” the company is hoping that people will apply those balances toward a pass to the 2020-21 season or make a donation in the amount of the purchase price to Jobsite. Refunds will also be made available upon request.
The current crisis could see the resident theater company of the Straz Center without ticket revenue, which makes up 65% of the 22-year-old company’s annual budget, for six months — a devastating blow to an organization committed to providing work to regional artists. Jobsite will not fully understand the financial impact of these cancellations until the end of summer, but estimates range from $55,000 to $105,000 — the bulk of which would have gone to artist payroll.
The artistic ensemble of Jobsite is currently weathering self-isolation by creating online content such as musical covers, time-lapse videos of art projects, “day in the life” videos, and even playing Shakespearean MadLibs. Follow Jobsite on social media or visit jobsitetheater.org/blogsite to see the latest.