As the repercussions of COVID-19 grow and the timeline for recovery remains unclear, many small businesses and organizations are making the difficult decision to slow down in 2020, and postpone or cancel events until a more appropriate time. The latest decision comes from Tweed & Company Theatre; the local professional theatre company that has been growing steadily and building an incredible reputation for the past 12 years.
“Tweed & Co was founded with a mission to bring quality, live, original Canadian musical theatre to stages in Tweed, Hastings County, and across the province. While we are devastated with the decision to postpone our current season, we know that at this point, even if we are able to proceed later this year, we would not be able to live up to our very high standards, or promote our sponsors and our community in the way they deserve.” This statement comes from Tim Porter, the founding and current Artistic Director of Tweed & Company Theatre, and their board of nine. The company has built a lasting reputation in the region, and many will be disappointed by the void in professional theatre productions in Tweed this summer and fall.
“It is just too uncertain at this point, and the last thing we want to do is burden our sponsor base, or encourage people to attend large social gatherings before Public Health is confident it is safe to do so. We would rather take a calculated step back now, and return stronger than ever in 2021 to present this incredible lineup of performances.”
Tweed & Co had an exciting season planned for this year. Celebrated Canadian songstress Kelly Holiff was set to create and premiere her new one woman show ‘HOT MESS’ in Tweed this spring, followed by star of Degrassi and Netflix Jake Epstein bringing his show ‘BOY FALLS FROM THE SKY’ to Tweed before playing one of the Mirvish theatres in Toronto next year. In the fall, the area was looking forward to a return engagement of Tweed & Co’s most successful original musical HASTINGS, which would have toured to six venues in the area and across Ontario. Annual favourites such as THE HARVEST DINNER & DARK NIGHT CABARET with Enright Cattle Company, and A TWEED & COMPANY CHRISTMAS were also part of programming.
Tweed & Co is confident that most or all of these performances will be rescheduled at a later date, and that the company will continue to grow and thrive into the future. “We were incredibly excited about this amazing lineup of shows, and this decision was not made lightly after months and months of planning,” says Porter, “But we are confident this is the right decision for our company, for our audiences, and for our sponsors; many of whom are struggling as well. Let’s all conserve and get inspired in 2020, and come back stronger than ever in 2021.”
Porter remains confident that live theatre in the region will survive and thrive. The company looks set to be on solid footing for the future, with the past four seasons being their most successful ever, and the first three performances of 2020 already in the books, all of them profitable and popular. “By making this decision now we can preserve our success and eliminate a lot of risk for the future. We can re-emerge in 2021, even more revved up to entertain and inspire our audiences.”
All online ticket purchases will be refunded in the coming weeks. Tweed & Company is working on creating some virtual performances in place of annual favourites the Dark Night Cabaret and A Tweed & Company Christmas. Stay tuned to tweedandcompany.com for more information, and watch these local legends closely for their return in the near future.