Campus productions canceled, rescheduled because of poor air quality

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Jessica Hsiao/Courtesy

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Ticket holders planning to attend campus productions last weekend were left without performances to attend, as production companies canceled showings because of poor air quality in Berkeley, stemming from the Camp Fire in Butte County.

Cal Performances canceled two dance performances of “Pixel” by Compagnie Käfig originally slated for last Friday and Saturday. BareStage Productions canceled all three of its final sold-out showings of “Curtains,” also scheduled for last weekend, according to “Curtains” director Ethan Glasman. Similarly, the UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, or TDPS, canceled its weekend showings of “Tartuffe.”

“It’s an unfortunate case that our second and closing weekend was cancelled,” said “Tartuffe” cast member and campus senior Drew Woodson in a Facebook message. “But if all we have to worry about is our weekend shows being cancelled compared to the devastation thats happening in norcal right now I consider ourselves lucky.”

These decisions came alongside UC Berkeley’s class cancellations for the Friday, Monday and Tuesday leading up to Thanksgiving break, also due to poor air quality from the Camp Fire. The Camp Fire has become the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. More than 1,000 people are missing, and 77 have been found dead, as of press time.

After refunding about 300 pre-sold tickets, the team behind “Curtains” is facing a “logistical challenge” in making plans to reschedule performances, according to Glasman.

Glasman said in an email that since BareStage Productions shares its planned location for “Curtains,” the Choral Rehearsal Hall, with other UC Choral Ensembles, it will take some effort to accommodate everyone involved.

“We are so lucky to have such an understanding and kind group of people working on this show,” Glasman said in an email. ”Otherwise a reschedule never would have happened.”

Despite cancellations and rescheduling, Glasman said he hopes BareStage will also sell out its rescheduled performances of “Curtains” and not experience any loss of revenue. Rescheduled “Curtains” performances are now slated for Nov. 28 and Nov. 30, as well as for Dec. 1.

Other productions that planned to take the stage in Zellerbach Hall face similar challenges in the rescheduling process.

It’s “not likely” that a production such as “Pixel” will be able to take the Zellerbach stage before the end of the semester because of previous bookings, according to public relations manager at Cal Performances Louisa Spier. Spier also said in an email that Cal Performances is not planning to cancel any more productions for the rest of the semester.

In an effort to satisfy ticket holders, Cal Performances has offered “a variety of options, including exchanging their tickets for other performances,” according to Spier. Consequently, the impact on Cal Performances’ revenue is currently undetermined.

TDPS posted on the “Tartuffe” Facebook event page last Friday giving ticket holders a chance to receive a refund or donate the price of their tickets to the department.

Contact Rachel Barber at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @rachelbarber_.

Correction(s):
The image accompanying a previous version of this article was incorrectly attributed to BareStage Productions. In fact, the image should have been attributed to Jessica Hsiao.