Musically Human Theatre, the company founded in New York that was to open in Chicago’s Highland Park with Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, has canceled its inaugural production.
Due to construction at the company’s new home, The Karger Center, Passion will no longer open October 22 as planned. The show was in rehearsals, and the company has sent an apology to its actors, designers, musicians, and patrons.
In a statement issued to Playbill.com, producing artistic director David Norwood said, “As many of you know, the past several days have been extremely challenging for Musically Human Theatre (MHT). Construction delays have made it impossible for MHT to inaugurate our new home in Highland Park with our previously announced Oct-Nov revival of Stephen Sondheim's chamber musical. Passion will be rescheduled for a later date and our season will continue as scheduled in 2017 with Next to Normal and Cabaret. We have also begun the planning to replace the production later in the 2017 season.
“As much as we had hoped to conduct renovations on our new home while operating, it became evident that we needed to cease production on Passion and realign our focus on creating a great experience for both our artists and audiences. It was very ambitious of us to believe we could renovate our new home, while rehearsing a production at the same time and we apologize to our actors, designers, musicians and patron for this unfortunate decision that had to be made.
“Our primary intent has been and continues to be to preserve the future of MHT – and our hope was to save Passion, too. Simultaneous efforts to accomplish both are simply unattainable. While we are driven by that ‘show must go on’ kind of determination, we must ensure that shows go on the MHT stage for years to come and that can only happen if we take a step back, focus on what is most important and prepare for strong seasons in 2017 and beyond.
“By postponing Passion, we preserve and protect the ability to serve the community in 2017, when we intend to officially open our new theatre and continue MHT’s history of presenting intimate musical theatre. We are still working through details of how this impacts our constituents and will have more information available soon.”
Norwood said that the company is working to provide ticket holders with a tax-deductible donation for the remaining balance of their subscription or ticket value, access to other area venues who have offered to provide MHT patrons with an arts experience, and an invitation to participate and inform the company’s programming and services in 2017 and beyond.
The Karger Center is located at 1850 Green Bay Road in Highland Park. For more information on Musically Human Theatre, visit MusicallyHuman.org.