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BREAKING NEWS: Guthrie Theater Reschedules Raisin, Destiny

The Guthrie Theater has adjusted its 2021–2022 performance calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After catching emergent COVID-19 cases among vaccinated members in its forthcoming production of A Raisin in the Sun, the company has decided to temporarily shelve the production. Another forthcoming play, Destiny of Desire, is also being cancelled.

The celebrated A Raisin in the Sun, a dramatization of pushback when an African American family moves into a predominantly White neighborhood in segregated Chicago, first opened on Broadway in 1959, earning the 29-year-old Hansbury the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play – at the time, the youngest-ever recipient of the award. (It was also the first time that it was awarded to an African American writer, and the fifth time that it was awarded to a female playwright.) The Guthrie production was scheduled to begin on January 12, 2022, and is now expected to open in late spring 2022, with the official dates to be finalized later. In announcing the cancellation, the Guthrie Theater also cited the increase in Omicron-variant cases of COVID-19 throughout the state of Minnesota.

The play Destiny of Desire by Karen Zacarías (Native Gardens) was slated to play on the McGuire Proscenium Stage from April 30–June 5, 2022, in advance of a commercially produced Broadway run. The production, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, was scheduled to use a diverse array of actors from across the country. However, the wave of performance cancellations and rescheduling across the country due to COVID-19, has created numerous new scheduling conflicts, leading to the Guthrie deciding to cancel its production.

Joseph Haj, the Artistic Director of the Guthrie Theater cited the public health situation as the predominant factor in the cancellation and rescheduling. “The ongoing effects of the pandemic in our industry cannot be overstated,” he said. “Despite taking every available precaution, the omicron variant has proven extremely difficult to navigate within a production schedule we outlined many months ago.”

Haj added, “Given that health experts predict the COVID-19 surge may not peak in Minnesota until mid-to-late January, we felt it prudent to reconsider our calendar. As difficult as these decisions may be, we stand by them as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our artists, staff and audiences.”

As of present, the Guthrie’s forthcoming productions of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by former Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling; Kate Hamill’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, directed by Meredith McDonough; and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, directed by Tamilla Woodard, are all expected to continue as scheduled.

Twin Cities Arts Reader