PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Live performances in cities across the country — Los Angeles, Denver, New York, Miami — have been canceled or postponed due to COVID breakthrough cases among crew members or performers.
Add Portland to that list.
“Today we had our first cancellation of a show,” said Robyn Williams, the executive director for Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Her team will have to notify 800 people their tickets for a sold-out show at the Newmark Theatre with acclaimed drag queens Jinx and Dela will be refunded.
“Someone in the company” got COVID, Williams said, “and they just canceled their whole tour.”
She said she was on the phone Tuesday “with a staff person from a venue in San Diego and their Nutcracker performances had to be canceled when some dancers had a breakthrough.”
Williams, whose team soldiered on during some of the darkest days for the industry when the plug was pulled on live events for much of 2020, said learning of the cancellation triggered some of those unpleasant memories.
“I mean, I think I felt a little something in the pit of my stomach because we came off such a horrible year last year,” she told KOIN 6 News. “I just hope it’s not a sign of things to come, you know. I’m hoping it’s a rare cancellation and not where we start to see everything cancel.”
Williams said there has been no indication from health authorities that venues will go back to the days of operating at limited capacity. She believes a live event under the roof of a Portland’5 venue is exceptionally safe.
“If you have your mask on and you’re coming in under our protocol calls, you’re going to be safe here. We’re going to be one of the safest places you can be in Portland,” she said.
You have to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for a seat at one of their theatres. Williams encourages people to buy tickets and support music and theatre arts.