UpStage Players performance of Frozen Jr postponed but not cancelled

In a final dress rehearsal, actors honed their performance of Frozen Jr just days before Covid-19 shut down the show.

While the show didn’t go on, it must at some point.

UpStage Players, a local performing arts group with an all children cast, was preparing for a weekend of performances of Frozen Jr in late March when the Covid-19 crisis caused them to shut down the show.  Postponement is the most likely scenario according to Bernadette Walsh, Executive Director, who said that without the ticket revenue, the group would be facing a huge deficit.

“We were all ready to go when we had to pull the plug,” said Walsh.  For 25 consecutive years the non-profit group has put on performances featuring 50-80 children.  UpStage Players has always kept the show going regardless of the personal challenges, including the death of close family members of staff.  Unfortunately, the coronavirus crisis took matters to another level.

Having already paid for the rights to perform the show, the group is looking at options for performing at a later time.  Originally scheduled in the Nottingham Branch of the Cleveland Public Library, UpStage will have to look at all options once an opportunity arises to perform the show.

In the meantime, performers uploaded scenes onto the UpStage Players Facebook for people to enjoy.  With young actors performing in small groups in front of family or friends, they were at least able to get a short moment of stage time – if in a controlled environment.  Fans can view some performances online to see some of the highlights.

Walsh commented that the group has been very conservative with their spending, so they are able to manage in the short term.  They purchased the rights to the show from a theater company that is also dealing with the realities of delayed payments and the financial impact of the shutdown.  “They’ve been absolutely great.  Very understanding of our situation.  Normally, our rights to do the show would have expired, but they are giving us an extension,” said Walsh.  She left no doubt about the future of the performance.  “We will return.”


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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 4:35 PM, 04.01.2020