COVID-19 Update

It’s a turbulent time for everyone, but especially for the performing arts. This is our COVID-19 Update Page, where you can find the most up-to-date news and information on what steps SpeakEasy is taking to ensure the health of our artists, patrons, and staff, as well as how you can help us stay strong during the pandemic and what to look forward to in Season 30.

  • Latest COVID-19 News
    [Last Updated: Sept. 22, 2020]
    Dear SpeakEasy Family:
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    I hope this note finds you and your loved ones doing well.
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    As promised, I am back with an update on SpeakEasy’s 2020-21 Season. Because of the ongoing public health crisis, we have decided to further delay our return to the stage until the Spring of 2021 at the earliest.
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    At this time, our intention is to present the shows announced for our 30th Season – either in the Spring or in future seasons. In consultation with the staff at the Calderwood Pavilion, we will be reassessing the possibilities again in early December and will write soon after to give you an update on our plans.
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    Once again, let me assure you that SpeakEasy will be back. Our company is strong, and we will ride out the storm. We remain committed to our mission and to you, and we look forward to welcoming you back into our theater as soon as it is safely possible. Thank you so much for your messages of support and your loyalty throughout this crisis – it has meant a great deal to all of us.
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    To our subscribers for Season 30: I particularly want to thank you for your generosity and optimism. Please know, however, that, given the uncertainty of the impact of COVID-19 on our season, we never ran any subscription charges or processed any checks. At this point, we will have to redo our subscription offerings if/when we open in the spring. So on October 2, in the interest of security, we will shred any subscription orders and checks received thus far. If you would like us to return your order form or check, please let Jim Torres know by writing to him at JimTorres@SpeakEasyStage.com. Once we know more about our plans for Spring 2021, we will contact you with the new options.
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    In the meantime, we hope you will join us for some of our fall virtual programs. The next major performance will take place on Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 PM – a Fall Benefit Concert to celebrate our 30th Anniversary Season. Please save the date! We will send you more information soon.
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    In addition, please check out our social media pages and website for details about our Play Discussion Club, SpeakEasy University, a podcast of The Usual Unusual by MJ Halderstadt – an audio play from The Boston Project, and “September Madness” – an opportunity to vote for your favorite play in the last 30 seasons!
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    Finally, if you have not recently made a donation to SpeakEasy, we ask that you consider making a gift now to support our mission. Even in times like these, we will continue to tackle relevant and timely topics to stimulate important conversations and connect us through our common humanity. We love telling stories – and we do it for YOU. To emphasize this point, I want to share this beautiful video with you – from one of my favorite musicals Once on This Island. Enjoy!

    If, at any time you have any questions, please feel free to contact SpeakEasy Marketing Director Jim Torres at JimTorres@SpeakEasyStage.com, or 617-482-3279.
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    Thank you so much for your commitment to SpeakEasy, and please accept my best wishes for a healthy and pleasant fall.
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    Paul Daigneault
    Producing Artistic Director, SpeakEasy Stage Company

  • COVID-19 FAQ

    1. What safety precautions will you be taking when we return to the theatre?

    The safety of our patrons, artists, and staff is, and will, remain our primary concern as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Working closely with the staff of the Calderwood Pavilion, we are continuously monitoring the public health guidelines and industry studies that will facilitate a safe return to the theater. Because this is a constantly evolving situation, we cannot fully predict at this point in time what modifications to our usual procedures will be required. Please rest assured that before we open, we will be fully compliant with whatever state guidelines have been put in place to protect our patrons, our artists, and the staff, and that we will communicate our procedures clearly to you. So until we have more definitive information, we will continue to move forward with our planning for an exciting and inspirational season.

    2. What happens if I renew my subscription and then a show is cancelled?
    First, thank you for considering renewing your subscription! If we are unable to move forward with a production as scheduled, we will look first to postpone the show and honor all subscriptions and ticket purchases. If the show is subsequently cancelled, you will have the option to donate the cost of your tickets and receive an acknowledgement of your tax-deductible donation or to receive a full refund for your tickets. It may also be an option to carry forward a credit and apply it to another production later in the season.

    3. Can you live stream shows or release recordings of past or future shows?
    While we have archive recordings of many past shows, we have only hired and paid those artists for their work on live stage performance.  We are exploring how to acquire streaming rights to past and future shows, and how to compensate artists for this added use of their work. We will most certainly keep our patrons updated as these streaming services become available for purchase.

    4. In what kind of financial shape is SpeakEasy? Is the company going to survive this crisis?
    Yes, we will! Our company is in good shape at this point in time, with our company staff still fully employed and productive. Our community responded very generously toward our pivot to a virtual Gala, and we were fortunate to receive some relief funding from foundations and the PPP program of the CARES Act that will help us bridge the gap until we can open for live theatre again. We will continue to need your support and commitment, of course, and with that, we are confident that we can move forward and plan for Season 30 and beyond.

    5. How can I help the company during this pandemic?
    Thank you for your commitment to SpeakEasy and your offer to help! Here are some ways that you can help the company during this unprecedented time when we are not permitted to be together:

    • Subscribe! Your commitment to attend our productions next year, even if they are delayed or rescheduled, will help us plan for this exciting, inspiring, and uplifting season. We even have FlexPasses available for 4 or 6 tickets that can be used at any time.
    • Donate! Your gift will support our company’s operations until we can open again and will also help us as we plan for next season. Thank you!
    • Purchase a gift certificate for tickets to shows – redeemable for a future show at any time, with no expiration date!
    • Become a sustaining donor by signing up for monthly contributions with a credit card. You choose the amount, the frequency, and the timing. This is a convenient and reliable way to sustain the theater that matters to you.
    • Make a gift in honor of a loved one. Make a tribute gift in honor of someone you admire or in memory of someone you have lost.
    • Check to see if your company will match your gift! Many businesses will match philanthropic gifts that their employees make to their favorite charities.
    • Engage with us on social media! We have lots of community conversations happening, including our Play Reading Club. Like, comment, and share to help us amplify our message on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact SpeakEasy Marketing Director Jim Torres at 617-482-3279 x2 or at JimTorres@SpeakEasyStage.com.

  • How You Can Help

    Thank you for your commitment to SpeakEasy and your offer to help! Here are some ways that you can help the company during this unprecedented time when we are not permitted to be together:

    • Subscribe! Your commitment to attend our productions next year, even if they are delayed or rescheduled, will help us plan for this exciting, inspiring, and uplifting season. We even have FlexPasses available for 4 or 6 tickets that can be used at any time.
    • Donate! Your gift will support our company’s operations until we can open again and will also help us as we plan for next season. Thank you!
    • Purchase a gift certificate for tickets to shows – redeemable for a future show at any time, with no expiration date! Email Jim Torres today to order yours.
    • Become a sustaining donor by signing up for monthly contributions with a credit card. You choose the amount, the frequency, and the timing. This is a convenient and reliable way to sustain the theater that matters to you.
    • Make a gift in honor of a loved one. Make a tribute gift in honor of someone you admire or in memory of someone you have lost.
    • Check to see if your company will match your gift! Many businesses will match philanthropic gifts that their employees make to their favorite charities.
    • Engage with us on social media! We have lots of community conversations happening, including our Play Reading Club and Season 30 Spotlight Series. Like, comment, and share to help us amplify our message on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact SpeakEasy Marketing Director Jim Torres at 617-482-3279 x2 or at JimTorres@SpeakEasyStage.com.

  • Community Resources

    A master spreadsheet crowdsourced by the Boston community with resources including childcare, financial aid, food security, housing assistance, mental health resources, and more.
    Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.
    An interactive map of meal sites, including soup kitchens and food pantries, that serve both adults and students in Boston.
    A guide for immigrants seeking relief during the COVID-19 pandemic as provided by the City of Boston.
    All of the programs and meetings offered by BAGLY (The Boston Alliance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth) have been moved virtually to Zoom. A listing of all their programming can be found at the link above.
    Those who have lost their health insurance can visit HealthCare.gov to inquire about their eligibilty for a special enrollment period due to the pandemic.
    IMPACT Boston has provided a little of resources for those who do not feel safe sheltering-in-place with an abusive partner or family member.

  • Artist Resources

    TCBF is an organization that provides financial relief in a confidential, respectful manner to individual theater practitioners and non-profit theater organizations facing occurrences of a catastrophic nature, including COVID-19. During this pandemic, TCBF has granted over $100,000 to artists and organizations in Greater Boston and the surrounding areas.
    StageSource has compiled a great list of resources for pandemic relief, as well as holding weekly #WeWillBeBack check-ins with New England-area arts leaders every Tuesday on YouTube.
    The Actors Fund has partnered with other entertainment industry organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to those in immediate financial need. Funds are available to union and non-union workers in entertainment and the performing arts.
    SAG-AFTRA is working around the clock to provide emergency financial assistance for active members who have paid dues through October 2019 unable to pay for basic living expenses.
    The Actors Fund has partnered with other entertainment industry organizations to provide emergency financial assistance to those in immediate financial need. Funds are available to union and non-union workers in entertainment and the performing arts.
    MASSCreative has published a handy guide for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and how its provisions can assist artists, cultural works, independent contractors, and both for-profit and non-profit businesses alike.
    Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts provides legal services, advice, and educational programming to artists and cultural organizations in Massachusetts. The VLA accomplishes its mission through the work of a panel of more than 500 attorneys who volunteer their time and services to provide legal counsel, education, and organizational support to the Massachusetts arts community.
    Artist Relief has coalesced national arts grantmakers to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States, as well as launching the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers.
    An ongoing collection of essays and events that respond to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic as published by Howlround Theatre Commons.
    The Teaching Artists Guild has an online webinar and “master list” of resources for teaching artists, including grants, legal resources, podcasts, distance learning activities and technology, and self-care/mental health tips.
    The Cambridge Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Cambridge and its generous donors, are addressing the urgent need of arts organizations and artists who live, work, create, and/or perform in Cambridge by taking immediate action to deploy money through the Cambridge Artist Relief Fund.
    Our friends at The Theater Offensive have established a fund to provide temporary financial relief to Boston-area QTPOC performing artists with grants up to $200.
    The Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund, which supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists & arts administrators impacted by COVID-19 through $200 microgrants.
    The Dramatists Guild Foundation provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.
    The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has created a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions, disbursing one-time $1,500 grants.
    Billboard has a list of resources at both the national and state levels, including more than four dozen relief funds, focused on helping members of the music community facing an uncertain future.