A Maine musical theater was forced to cancel its fall schedule after refunding $36,000 worth of tickets in the days since announcing a COVID-19 vaccination policy, according to a report.
The Brunswick-based Maine State Music Theatre was buried in refund requests after saying on Friday that theater-goers would have to prove they’ve either been vaccinated or tested negative for the coronavirus, The Portland Press Herald reported.
“Not selling a ticket is bad,” artistic director Dale Clark told the newspaper. “Having to refund a ticket that you have already sold, that’s a lot worse.”
Clark blamed pushback against the new policy and “general concerns about the virus” for the refunds of hundreds of tickets.
“It’s fear,” he said, according to the publication. “People are scared. If our audience is fully vaccinated and people must wear masks, I have a safe auditorium and I should be able to put butts in seats. But that is not the way it reads in the news.”
Planned productions of “Cinderella,” “Alive in Wonderland” and “The Rocky Horror Show” have at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center been scrapped, according to an announcement from the company – although a take on “Jersey Boys” set to open next month will go on as planned.
The theater is planning to return with a complete summer season in 2022, the announcement said.
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