SUFFOLK COUNTY

Local theaters cope with cancelled shows

Glenn Rohrbacker
Posted 3/26/20

As part of the state government’s efforts to promote physical distancing, theaters were some of the first to be shut down due to the coronavirus. Three local theaters are adapting to forced …

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SUFFOLK COUNTY

Local theaters cope with cancelled shows

Posted

As part of the state government’s efforts to promote physical distancing, theaters were some of the first to be shut down due to the coronavirus. Three local theaters are adapting to forced closures and communicating with ticket holders about what the next steps will be. It also presents a problem for their fundraising efforts, as all three are nonprofits and rely on ticket sales to fund operations.

Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts

At the Patchogue Theatre in Patchogue, all programs have been suspended through April 25. The events scheduled for the next month will be rescheduled, according to executive director Gary Hygom. After May 15, the theater is booked with various dance recitals each year for local studios, so not many other events are scheduled around that time anyway.

“It is alarming for us financially, espe- cially as a not-for-profit,” Hygom said.

The theater is a nonprofit and makes money to fund operations by selling tickets to shows and general fundraising. Those who have already bought tickets will not need to buy another, and the theater will be communicating with ticketholders about new dates for shows. If they are unable to make the new date, the theater will offer a full refund in the form of a gift certificate, plus a bonus. And for the theater staff, the show must go on.

“I have not stopped looking for shows and booking shows,” Hygom said.

For more information or to see new dates, visit www.patchoguetheatre.org.

The Gateway Playhouse

The Gateway in Bellport has suspended some upcoming concerts and has delayed its summer show schedule by four weeks. The theater will be communicating to season ticketholders with their individual dates. And in light of the situation, the theater has eliminated internet and handling fees on ticket sales through April 12. For tickets purchased before June 12, there will be a free exchange policy for summer shows. And if a show is cancelled due to a government guideline, The Gateway will offer a gift certificate, ticket exchange, refund, or a tax-deductible donation.

“We feel strongly that Gateway will have a vital role to play in bringing joy back to our community, and return some normalcy to our lives,” said executive artistic director Paul Allan in a message online.

For more information or to see new dates, visit www.thegateway.org.

CM Performing Arts Center

In Oakdale, the CM Performing Arts Center suspended all programming as of March 16.

“We have nothing but concern for our beloved CM family, which includes all of our staff, patrons, actors, musicians and crew members,” said executive director Alyse Nicole Arpino in a letter. “We want to do our part in trying to navigate this uncharted territory while preserving the integrity and quality we pride ourselves on each and every day.”

The theater is working on selecting new dates for scheduled shows, and will notify ticketholders when finalized. The theater will be open for calls Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CMPAC has also set up an emergency support fund to help ensure it will be able to reopen when deemed safe. It has set up a GoFundMe page, which is accessible on its Facebook profile.

For more information, visit www. cmpac.com.

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