CenterStage Clovis Cancels 2020 Season Due To Coronavirus

(Courtesy CenterStage Clovis)

Local theater organization CenterStage Clovis has made the decision to cancel its 2020 season due to concerns over the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Darren Tharp, Board President of CenterStage Clovis, said that the organization waited as long as it could, but ultimately decided that continuing on with a plan to perform would not be feasible.

“For us, we were holding on as much as possible to see the outcome of COVID during the early months. When we hit toward the end of April, we went ahead and decided that we needed to call it,” Tharp said.

CenterStage Clovis was in the process of working on a show that would be performed this summer before the season was canceled. In addition, it had to cancel four cabaret shows that were planned. The theater had started a cabaret series in the fall of 2019, which were performed at a DiCicco’s restaurant.

Tharp added that the future of what theater will look like is still very much up in the air. The theater is assessing how many people it can fit into the Mercedes Edwards Theater, where it holds performances, based on CDC guidelines. The theater normally seats 700.

But the organization still has plans to broadcast performances to audiences remotely via video streaming platforms such as Zoom.

“We are looking at streaming some performances here in the next couple of months,” he said. “We are working to do something by the end of the year; possibly some cabarets and some straight character actor monologue things for the community to do and watch.”

As a non-profit organization, the cancellation of the season means that CenterStage is unable to generate normal revenue to fund performances in the future. Currently, it is running a GoFundMe fundraiser to generate enough money to perform shows in 2021, and is asking for the public’s help.

“We are always in a fundraising mode and it’s very difficult for us right now because we are not able to touch the public with our performances. We can’t have our shows that we are typically depending on to raise our funds,” Tharp said. “We have a target of $20,000 to try to hit so that we can maintain our performances for our 2021 season.”

Tharp said that the fundraiser has raised about $1,400 so far, as of early July.

To donate, visit CenterStage Clovis’ Facebook page, where there is a link to the GoFundMe. There is also a link at CenterStage Clovis’ website.

Michael Ford
Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.