Following updated guidance from Yale University on Tuesday evening, March 10, in response to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, James Bundy, Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, has announced that the final two productions of the season, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Carl Cofield, and Testmatch by Kate Attwell, directed by Margot Bordelon, have been canceled.
While the University’s March 7 guidance––which states that groups of 100 or less are safe to continue provided there is ample room for individuals to spread out as they are comfortable––remains in effect, the additional new measures, currently in effect through April 5, seek to minimize close-proximity interaction among members of the Yale community.
As the professional theater in residence at Yale School of Drama, in a relationship analogous to that of a teaching hospital and a medical school, practical production work is the defining component of professional theater training at Yale. The new measures of mitigation, including the implementation of online instruction, are fundamentally incompatible with the physical work of making plays: on stage, backstage, in rehearsal rooms, shops, and lobby areas.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking that the company of A Raisin in the Sun, which has done some of the most remarkable work I have seen in my 18 years in this job, will not have the opportunity to perform Lorraine Hansberry’s majestic play for New Haven audiences this season. Likewise, it is painful to imagine what could have been, as the creative team and actors cast in Testmatch have been preparing for rehearsals to begin on Monday for Kate Attwell’s new play,” said James Bundy. “I have been enormously proud to witness the collaborations between leading artists in the field and School of Drama students which makes me even sadder that we are not able to present these plays to the thousands of audience members who already had tickets. These decisions were not made lightly, but we deem them necessary to support the University’s efforts to respond to the spread of COVID-19.”
Tickets for A Raisin in the Sun are already in the process of being refunded. The Audiences Services Department will also begin refunding all Testmatch ticket purchases immediately as well.