Impact of COVID-19

FSLT PERFORMANCES AND THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

 

Dear Friends,

2020 was a year we will want to forget, but we will always remember. It’s been difficult for all of us. Among the many losses caused by COVID-19 is the opportunity for us to be together. We miss not just the cultural, but also the social experience that FSLT provides. Live theatre is a collective experience. Imagine sitting in our intimate auditorium, laughter rippling across the room. Imagine the quiet as a dramatic line is delivered on stage. Imagine singing, dancing, and standing ovation curtain calls. And know that it will come again.

In the meantime, we want to take this opportunity to thank our patrons, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers – indeed, everyone involved with FSLT—for their patience and encouragement. And please take a moment to read the information provided below. We have provided answers to important questions about our future plans.

While we are saddened that the theatre has temporarily gone dark, we look forward to a heightened appreciation for the performing arts and the part we play when the lights come back on. People need the shared experience that live theatre provides. If we have learned anything from this pandemic, we have learned that.

With your continued support, FSLT will get through this challenging time and thrive again. On the other side of this pandemic, you can count on us to be sewing costumes, building sets, and learning lines, and we know we can count on your applause.

Be safe and take care,

FSLT Board of Directors


 

***FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS***

What was the impact of COVID-19 on FSLT’s Season 2020?

We performed The Glitter Girls and an off-season production, Radium Girls, before being forced to close in March 2020. In the following months, we monitored pandemic conditions and state-mandated directives with a hopeful eye, cancelling one production at a time. In September, as the coronavirus battle continued, the Fort Smith Little Theatre regrettably announced the cancellation of the remainder of Season 2020.

 

Why are productions being cancelled?

As currently written, government directives regarding crowd limitation and social distancing restrictions for the audience, on-stage, and back-stage areas necessitate that we remain shuttered for now. It is not fiscally or physically possible for us to perform in our facility until guidelines are eased and potential health risks are diminished.

 

What options were given to those who had purchased a 2020 Season Flex Pass or Gala Opening Night Subscription?

Since the date we will be allowed to reopen is unclear, we are not able to announce our next season schedule or sell 2021 season passes at this time. Therefore, applying 2020 passes to a future season was not a viable option.

As a show of support, we are grateful that most 2020 pass patrons agreed to donate to our theatre the ticket value of performances cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Their ticket value donations will help offset utility costs, facility maintenance, and operational expenses while we are dark. Those donors are listed here and were recognized on social media. Alternately, refunds were provided to patrons upon request.

 

Will 2020 Gala Opening Night Patrons be able to retain their same seats for future seasons?

Absolutely! Brighter days are on the horizon, and there will be no better view than from your favorite seat at FSLT on Gala Opening Night! Rest assured that you will be contacted to confirm retention of your same seats at such time when we are able to offer Gala Opening Night Season Packages again.

 

When will the next FSLT season be announced?

For 2021, we have planned a wonderful line-up of comedy, mystery, drama, and musical productions. Unfortunately, uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has clouded those plans, and we don’t have a clear timeline on when that season can begin. So at this time, we plan to remain dark until we are confident that we can be compliant with government directives and can offer the safe, enjoyable, live in-person theatrical experience our volunteers and patrons deserve and expect. We prefer to write performance dates in pen, not pencil, but currently there are too many variables beyond our control. Therefore, we will not publish our next season schedule at this time.

Please be assured that our decision to forego announcing our next season of shows is not retreating or giving up. It’s positioning our organization for improvisation—something thespians do quite well. By not announcing a firm schedule in this time of uncertainty, we will have the flexibility to react quickly whenever it is deemed appropriate for us to safely reopen. When that date occurs, we will excitedly announce upcoming productions, launch auditions, begin rehearsals, and provide information about the sale of season passes. Until then, we remain poised and ready, with a flexible plan in place.

 

When will Season Passes be sold again?

Without knowing when the season will actually begin, we do not feel comfortable publicizing a schedule of shows nor asking patrons to purchase a pass. And we don’t want to risk further disappointment caused by announcing and then canceling shows. Therefore, we will not be selling any Season Passes for 2021 at this time. Information regarding the sale of Season Passes (both Flex Passes and Gala Opening Night Subscriptions) will be provided once we have clarity regarding our reopening date.

 

Are Gift Certificates available for purchase?

Yes. Gift Certificates in any denomination may be purchased at any time at fslt.org. Certificate information will be retained in our ticketing system so that it can be redeemed when we are allowed to safely reopen.

 

How can I provide additional support? 

The COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of our theatre in March and effectively removed our ability to receive ticket income. However, it has not removed ongoing monthly expenses to pay utilities, maintain our facility, and operate our business. Your contribution to our Annual Fund would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made online at fslt.org or mailed to FSLT, P.O. Box 3752, Fort Smith, AR 72913. With your continued support, the Fort Smith Little Theatre will remain a vibrant part of our community’s arts and culture scene for many years to come. Please do your part to help FSLT emerge from this crisis as strong as possible.

 

What if I have additional questions?

Should you have any questions or concerns, please email to fslt.communications@gmail.com or leave a message at 479.783.2966 (extn. 4). Calls will be returned by volunteers during variable hours.