Performances of the pantomime Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs planned for later this month have had to be cancelled, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
The show, which was scheduled to hit the stage at the Cowichan Theatre Jan. 29-31, had already been postponed from a Christmas timeslot by tightening provincial regulations brought in due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.
The pantomime was being produced through a partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players. The show had been cast and rehearsals were well underway when the postponement, then the cancellation were announced.
“This wasn’t a surprise,” said Cowichan Musical Society president Irwin Killam. It was a disappointment, however, and not just for the actors.
“Everybody wants the arts back,” Killam explained, saying that ticket holders were upset, not having been able to see a live theatre performance in months. “They really would love to see a show soon. People are missing the arts.”
There was no choice, Killam said, as even if they had been able to take the stage, the restrictions on gatherings had made it impossible for the cast to rehearse together to prepare the show.
But all is not lost, she said. They are already planning to stage the pantomime in December of 2021, and all cast members are welcome back to their roles should they choose to take them.
And there are performances on the horizon, Killam said, though they are still months away.
The Cowichan Musical Society has cast their Broadway blockbuster show, Beauty and the Beast, which is scheduled to take the stage in January of 2022. She said they plan to begin rehearsals on the singing and dancing components by next fall.
Joining the cast are Reuben Broadway as the Beast, Alora Killam as Belle, Jordan Heath as Gaston, Gregg Perry as Papa Maurice, Georgie Weeks Heyd as Mrs. Potts, Grant Mellemstrand as Lumiere, Christin Fagan as Wardrobe, Jim Cleough as Cogsworth, Sam Mellemstrand as Le Fou, Bennett Meyer as Babette, Theodore Perkins as Chip Potts, with Graham Brockley, Jennifer Cleough, Rachel Perkins, Aedan Geiger and Amy Hovey as understudies and named chorus members.
Killam said the Shawnigan Players and the Mercury Players are likewise planning future productions.