PEI

Watermark cancels season, and everything will change for 2021

Watermark Theatre in North Rustico, on P.E.I.’s North Shore, is the latest on the Island to cancel its season, and its general manager says the implications of the pandemic will be both financial and artistic.

‘That whole thing about the show must go on is actually a really deep-seated culture’

The Watermark was coming off a successful season last year. (Watermark Theatre/Facebook)

Watermark Theatre in North Rustico, on P.E.I.'s North Shore, is the latest on the Island to cancel its season, and its general manager says the implications of the pandemic will be both financial and artistic.

Andrea Surich said when ease-back plans of pandemic restrictions were announced by the province on Friday it was clear they would not be able to have a season.

"We were the very first industry that had to shut down when all this started, so we're going to be the last one to open up again," Surich said.

"It's really emotional. You know, that whole thing about the show must go on is actually a really deep-seated culture. So it's very, very difficult."

The 2019 season had Watermark feeling optimistic about the future, she said. There will be a 2021 season, but with the 2020 season now cancelled, it will likely be scaling back plans.

The COVID-19 pandemic will force artistic changes as well, said Surich, because everything has changed.

The theatre is still looking to hold some events this year, says general manager Andrea Surich. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

"You have different ideas about what's important and what kind of stories people want to hear," she said.

"This ... is definitely going to make people think a different way. And our job is to support that."

The theatre is still looking to do some events this year. Its play reading series and music series could both go online, she said, but they are not yet certain how that might work. Surich said she is also reluctant to shut down the building completely, and may offer tours or hold some other events there if that becomes possible as restrictions ease further.

Current season ticket holders for 2020 have the choice of donating the tickets back to the theatre, converting them to the 2021 season, or a refund.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.

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