May 4, 2016,
To Our Patrons, Community Partners, Volunteers, Artists, Colleague, Students, Staff, and Neighbors,
On Friday April 29, 2016, the creators of West Side Story imposed a restriction of rights on all theatre companies in the state of North Carolina as a result of the passage of the controversial law known as ‘HB2’ into law on March 24. This restriction has effectively put an end to our plans to present West Side Story as a part of our 2016 Season.
To say that we are devastated is an understatement. We took several days to notify our cast, students, and volunteers that will be directly impacted before making this announcement. Nearly a year of hard work spent planning our planned production of West Side Story will be discarded with no means of recovering or compensating for time, energy, and creativity expended by our staff, artistic team, and board. Additional expenses of time and money will have to be allocated to deal with this unexpected development, as we will have to urgently make new plans. This is to say nothing of the impact that this imposed cancellation has on the morale of our cast; many of whom are young, early career performers and students from this region. They are most definitely disappointed that they will not get to share this production that they have been working toward realizing.
Parkway Playhouse does not make political statements. Instead, we give voice to performing artists. We have done so, in this community, for seventy years. Regretfully, the cast of actors and creative team members that were working on this show have been silenced as a result of the ongoing controversy relative to this law. It is not lost on any of us at Parkway Playhouse that the messages of understanding, peace, and love that are embedded in West Side Story remain especially timely.
It is our intent to substitute a different production into our season. When we are prepared, we will announce a title, its performances will take place between July 30 and August 13, just as we had planned for West Side Story to do. If you are already a ticket holder for West Side Story, our Box Office will be in communication with you about your options.
If you have additional questions regarding this statement or would like more information, please call the Parkway Playhouse Office at 828-682-4285 or visit www.parkwayplayhouse.com.
With Warmest Regards,
Andrew Gall, Artistic Director