COVID variants prompt cancellation of Glensheen show
History Theatre was to perform at Theatre L'Homme Dieu
A surge in COVID variants has led The History Theatre to cancel its scheduled performances of "Glensheen" at most theaters throughout the state, including Theatre L'Homme Dieu in Alexandria.
It was set to play in Alexandria Aug. 26-Sept. 4, but History Theatre Artistic Director Ron Peluso said the rise of the variants is just too risky. Many cast members have children or elderly parents who could be at risk for the disease.
"They are all vaccinated and yet we know that's not 100 percent foodproof, so I made a decision based on people's safety," Peluso said.
It was also, he said, a decision based on practicality. His company abides by rules of the Actors' Equity Association, which could be difficult to meet, given the close working conditions of the case and staff. They travel together in vans, hug and sing on stage, and are often not able to socially distance, implement the correct air circulation standards or regularly test for COVID.
The theater may still perform the musical in Duluth in October, depending on the COVID situation, and it hopes to bring the production to Alexandria and other local theaters in 2022.
"This was not an easy decision," Peluso said.
Theatre L'Homme Dieu is still planning to host a scheduled performance of St. Paul-based Transit Authority, a tribute band for the group Chicago which will be in Alexandria on Saturday, Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
"We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies so we can continue to support our staff, artists, audiences and communities as needed," said Executive Director Nicole Mulder. "We've been here before. We can do this. We will continue to put safety first and find creative ways to enjoy the rest of our season."