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Huntington Theatre Company Lays Off, Furloughs Two-Thirds Of Staff

Interior of the Huntington Avenue Theatre. (Courtesy Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots)
Interior of the Huntington Avenue Theatre. (Courtesy Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots)

The Huntington Theatre Company announced Wednesday, June 24, that almost two-thirds of the staff will be laid off or on furlough for "the immediate future." The company also postponed the 2020-2021 season and canceled all in-person performances for the remainder of this calendar year as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to the statement, without the opportunities to earn revenue through ticket sales and venue rentals, "the Huntington anticipates cutting its operating budget by approximately 50% and beginning layoffs, furloughs, work reductions, and salary reductions on July 1." The Huntington shut its doors and closed operations on March 12.

“Furloughs and layoffs and salary reductions and work reductions are all a direct connection to the fact that we think it's going to be a long time before we can have performances," said Temple Gill, the Huntington's director of public relations and strategic partnerships, in an interview. "We don't have a lot of opportunities. In fact, we've no opportunities right now for earned revenue.”

The 2020-2021 season was scheduled to begin July 28 with Heidi Schreck's play "What the Constitution Means to Me." The Huntington has yet to schedule new dates for the season, but performances might resume next spring.

“Theatre has been around for thousands of years, and has survived previous plagues, pauses, and upheaval," managing director Michael Maso said in the statement. “The Huntington is resilient, and while we don’t know when it will be, we look forward to the day when we can all gather together to enjoy live theatre once more.”

This article was originally published on June 24, 2020.

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Dianna Bell Twitter Producing Editor, The ARTery
Dianna Bell is the producing editor for WBUR's arts and culture vertical, the ARTery.

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