The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced March 17 that due to the increasing threat of COVID-19, all public performances and events scheduled through May 10 will be canceled, extending its initially announced closure through March 31. Several other performing arts organizations in the Washington, D.C. area have made similar decisions in response to the pandemic.
Events that were slated for later this month at the Kennedy Center campus included Washington National Opera performances of Don Giovanni, Blue, and Samson and Delilah, as well as a gala concert featuring Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Later engagements included performances from the New York City Ballet, Wasington Ballet's Swan Lake, the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Broadway Center Stage presentation of Bye Bye Birdie.
Until further notice, the Kennedy Center campus and its facilities will be closed to visitors; however, administrative staff will be on hand to continue basic business operations. Kennedy Center programmers are exploring options for rescheduling artists and productions for a future date where possible.
Additionally, the touring production of Once on This Island, which was to play D.C. in June, has canceled its remaining stops.
Check below for additional updates from theatres in the metro area:
- Arena Stage has extended its closure, originally announced through March 30, to the remainder of the 2019–2020 season. Its productions of Celia and Fidel, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, and Toni Stone have been postponed to the 2020–2021 season, with the previously announced Enlightenment, The Change, and Crumbs from the Table of Joy moved to the 2021–2022 lineup.
- The National Theatre has postponed its upcoming engagement of The Last Ship, as well as the D.C. stop of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tour.
- Ford's Theatre has postponed its production of Guys and Dolls to next spring (replacing the previously announced Man of La Mancha). The company had initially been delayed to April 6. The historic site (including the museum exhibits and tours) will remain closed through May 17.
- Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, has postponed its upcoming Cost of Living. Performances were to run April 1–19; the production is now slated to play in September 2021. The remainder of the current season is still expected to run as scheduled.
- Performances at Arlington, Virginia's Signature Theatre are canceled through the beginning of June, after originally closing only through March 30. Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes, which was running at the time of the shutdown, will be released as a video (details to come). Camille Claudel, originally postponed by one week, will now be moved to the 2020–2021 season, and Nijinsky's Last Dance and Hair will take the stage this summer.
(UPDATED MARCH 23, 4:50 PM ET)