Peterborough theater troupe face spring festival uncertainty after Key Theater closes

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CUBED 'Sitting Here' Performance.  Credit to Thomas Byron Photography
CUBED ‘Sitting Here’ Performance. Credit to Thomas Byron Photography

The Peterborough Mask Theater has been producing theater in the city for almost 75 years. Known for their outdoor Shakespeare performances in the summer, the group face the possibility that the show may not happen again. The group gives three shows a year, in the spring and fall – often at the Key Theater. Mask CUBED’s short piece festival was disrupted due to lockdown in 2020, after just three performances and was then rescheduled for 2022, but sold-out shows may have to be canceled unless the group can find another. place. Producer Becky Owen-Fisher said, “We booked Key Studio in March. We have paid the rights to all parts, started rehearsals, and started communicating with ticket holders who are hanging on to their tickets since March 2020.

“Like all the other community theater companies in town, we were devastated to learn that The Key was going to close. We very much hope that a private investor can be found to take over the management, but we fear that it is not in time to save the CUBED festival.

“We are determined to move forward with CUBED this spring; we have been waiting for two years to bring these brilliant, stimulating and exciting pieces to life. We don’t want to let down our talented members or our dedicated audience who have waited so long to see the plays.

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CUBED included 18 community artists and a crew of 20 behind the scenes and on the production crew. About 600 members of the public with tickets are eagerly awaiting news on whether it can happen this spring.

Becky hopes that a place can be found and help save the long-awaited festival. She said: “We have a multitude of skills at the Peterborough Mask Theater and we can turn just about any space into a theater. We are ideally looking for a location in downtown Peterborough with good access. As long as there is room to accommodate up to 70 spectators with a stage space, we can make it work!

“We have reached out to council with questions about the empty store units and the John Clare Theater and are awaiting a response.”

The group faces not only financial loss, but also the devastation of waiting two years to replay and having the opportunity taken away. She said, “If we can’t move forward with CUBED there will be financial losses, but more importantly our six actors have been waiting two years to bring these plays to life and 600 audience members have been waiting to. see them. “Community theater is a vital part of Peterborough’s cultural scene, and for those who participate, it’s an escape. During the lockdown, Mask maintained a vibrant online presence for our members. We even made a feature film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which was shot on location in Nene Park and premiered at the Key Theater in the summer of 2021. In the fall of 2021, we returned to the stage at The Undercroft. with Frankenstein and for the good of our members. “Mental health, we don’t want to go back to this point. CUBED has to happen, we just need a space to run it.

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