Memphis theater cancels live performance due to COVID-19

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Live venues were one of the hardest hit during the pandemic and one of the last to have their restrictions lifted.

Playhouse on the Square officials announced they did suffer a recent setback, but they say that will not stop the show from going on.

At just 30 percent capacity, the theater’s first show with a live audience in 17 months ended about two weeks after it started.

“You know here’s the thing, is it difficult, is it challenging for those people? Absolutely, it is. But at the end of the day it’s the right choice,” said the show’s executive director, Michael Detroit.

The theater informed ticket holders via email Thursday that the live show was cancelled due to a cast member in the production of “Ivanka vs. Reality” tested positive for COVID-19.

Playhouse requires all of its full-time and part-time employees, which include live performers, to be fully vaccinated and be tested once a week. However. even with all the precautions, this organization couldn’t avoid a breakthrough case.

“I’m happy to say that even though somebody got sick, nobody got overly sick. Nobody was hospitalized and all of those protocols worked. And I will say probably because of that vaccination is the reason those folks did not get as ill as they possibly could have,” said Detroit.

Shelby County is reporting 458 breakthrough cases, a small fraction of the more than 400,000 vaccines administered. The message from health officials is that the vaccine works.

“It’s not ‘oh are we going to go back to the days of stay at home and closing businesses and what have you.’ That’s not the issue. This issue can be more easily resolved by more people rolling up their sleeves and receiving the shot,” said Shelby County health officer Bruce Randolph.

As for Playhouse on the square, the show’s executive director says fans can watch the now cancelled show online at and ticket holders can get a refund by calling the box office at (901) 726-4656.

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