Now Playing - Oct 10, 2020

Dennis Garnhum & Deb Harvey

A message from Dennis Garnhum and Deb Harvey

Dear Friends:

With heavy hearts we write to you today to let you know that we have made the decision to postpone the 2020-21 Season. This image you see here of our planned holiday production of ANNIE now postponed to the holiday season in 2021, tells the story so beautifully and poignantly.

As we continue to monitor public health guidelines and consult with theatre partners across North America, the projected date of re-opening of live theatre and music venues continues to move further and further into the future. While a difficult decision, it is a necessary one to protect the health of you – our incredible and loyal patrons, our staff, guest artists and volunteers.

You can read the full press release related to this announcement here.

We are calling this period our GRAND INTERMISSION. We will use the time to reflect, listen, learn and take action to make changes to how we operate as a company. Hearing the voices and consulting with the BIPOC (Black Indigenous Persons of Colour) communities both within and outside of the arts and culture construct, we will be examining the theatre through a different lens and making changes to all aspects of what we do at the Grand - from what we program on our stages, how we engage with BIPOC audiences, Board and Senior Leadership recruitment and more. We know that statements of support mean nothing without action and it is action to which we are committed.

Dennis and a small group of creative folks have been assembled and are working on programming options that we know you will find innovative, exciting and joyful. We will be reaching out across the Forest City to engage with a wide cross section of Londoners to find out what excites them and what programming options would entice them to come in to our spaces.

We will also be using the time to undertake the planned renovation that was scheduled for this past Spring. The funding earmarked for this project has been secured for some time and is not transferrable to other initiatives. Plans were already in place to open up and modernize our spaces. Within the framework of enhanced public health guidelines we can dive even deeper into ensuring the Grand lobbies, washrooms, bars and other public areas exceed safety standards. When we are given the green light to open – we will be ready with beautiful and safe spaces – to welcome you all back in!

When the pandemic halted our season in March, we stopped selling subscription packages. If you are a patron who had already subscribed to the full 2020/21 season and/or Jeans 'n Classics you have the following options:

  • You may choose donate the value of their tickets back to the Grand
  • You may request a full refund
  • You may place a credit on your account


The Box Office team is ready to receive your calls at 519-672-8800 from 9-5 Monday through Friday or by email to boxoffice [at] grandtheatre [dot] com (subject: 2020-21%20Season%20-%20my%20subscription)

Now and for the coming months, we will be asking you to consider a donation to the Grand. As a not-for-profit theatre, this period of INTERMISSION with zero ticket purchase revenue coming in will be difficult. We cannot hide from this reality. We still need to keep our buildings operating and we are committed to providing some form of programming for you, our patrons. We know that the pandemic has had a significant impact on your own lives, businesses and livelihoods. As Ontario continues to open, we ask that you consider a gift to the Grand. Perhaps the investment you would have made as a full subscriber, or the value of the tickets you would have purchased for one or more of our productions. Donations can be made by clicking this link or by emailing slanthier [at] grandtheatre [dot] com (subject: I'd%20like%20to%20make%20a%20donation) or by calling Suzanne at 519-672-9030 x251. Thank you in advance, for your generosity. It is deeply appreciated.

As a further note, along with close to 100 other arts organizations across Ontario, the Grand is participating in an Audience Survey study led by the Ontario Arts Council that will help guide our industry toward re-opening. A series of four emails will be sent to a randomly selected cross section of our database between now and December 31. You should only receive one of these surveys from the Grand but you may also receive a survey from other theatres or arts organizations you have attended. We encourage you to take 10 minutes needed to fill out the survey regardless of this announcement today. It is still of value to us and our industry partners.

We will continue to stay in touch with you over the coming weeks and months.
We believe - we KNOW - that the sun will, in fact, come out tomorrow.
 

Until we can once again say hello and welcome you back in person, please stay safe and healthy.

Deb and Dennis

Grand Theatre Announces Fall ‘Intermission’ Programming Amidst Ongoing Renovations 

September 24, 2020 – London ON - An hour  long, Season ‘Un-Opening’ virtual celebration scheduled  for October 22 at 7 PM anchors a series of Fall events during the GRAND Intermission period of shutdown,

“We gave some thought about this concept of a GRAND Intermission. When you are in the theatre, you use the intermission to grab a drink, chat about Act I, scour the material in the house program, meet your brand new seat neighbours, and re-connect with friends you see across the lobbies,” noted Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director of the Grand.

“These Fall offerings last slightly longer than a standard 20 minute intermission but will give us the opportunity to connect and re-connect with Londoners, give high school students interested in theatre a deeper dive into the process, introduce us to new faces, new neighbourhoods, and expand our collective definition of arts and culture.”

For six consecutive Saturdays, beginning September 26, Daniel Bennett, the theatre’s technical director, will take us on a GRAND WALK with a special guest each week.  An audio podcast, accompanied by a map of the walk route, will encourage Londoners to get out and explore new neighbourhoods and landmarks. In Week 1, Emma Donoghue takes us to her favourite spots in Wortley Village and in Week 2, we chat with Dr. Alan Shepard, President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University, as we stroll along the Thames with his canine companion, Meesha. Marie Williams, owner of Reggae’s Caribbean Restaurant, describes how the Jamaican community welcomed her with open arms during our walk through Kipps Lane and Ed Blake Park in Week 3. Three more special GRAND WALK guests will be featured in the remaining weeks.

“We wanted to use this intermission period to get to get know this incredible city and what better way to do that than through the stories of people who live and work in our neighbourhoods. Daniel is a charismatic conversationalist, and we know folks will enjoy walking along, listening, laughing and reflecting on the diversity of London,” noted Garnhum. “If you choose, you can quite literally, walk the walk with Daniel and his guests!”

Previously announced as being cancelled for the 2020-21 Season, the High School Project has been revamped as an online ‘Master Class’ option for interested students. High School Project Online will begin the week of October 19 and four weeks later will culminate in a virtual parent preview night. Sponsored by Libro Credit Union, High School Project Online, will appeal to students with bold imaginations who are curious about all aspects of theatre, and have big ideas waiting to be explored with a keen desire to jump into all parts of the theatre-making process. Students will be asked to submit a written application, and once approved for the program, will work in large and small groups twice weekly for 90 minutes each session, culminating in an online parent presentation event.

“One of the most difficult decisions we had to make was to cancel the acclaimed High School Project. When we re-grouped as a team to discuss Fall programs, it was the first item on our agenda. We have such a wealth of expertise and experience among our professional staff, who traditionally serve as mentors in a typical High School Project year. This online version will allow those staff members and the students to dive much deeper into the process of the development and creation of a full scale musical. We think this will have widespread appeal to both students interested in performance, as well as students interested in the many technical and production elements from directing to dramaturgy, from wardrobe and props to set design and construction.”

On what would have been the eve of the opening of the 2020-21 Season, Dennis Garnhum and Deb Harvey will host a Season Un-Opening virtual event. Starting on October 22 at 7 PM, the event will be available for viewing up to October 30 at midnight. As always, Dennis has a few surprises up his sleeve. 

“In what would have been the opening of our 50th season as a professional company, this unconventional hour will be full of updates and the unexpected and will be just what we need to connect with each other again. We will celebrate this GRAND intermission period and look ahead to the future. Both Deb and I miss seeing the faces of our passionate patrons, particularly on an opening night when you can feel the energy from all corners of the theatre. We can’t wait to see those faces, even if it is on a computer screen,” said Garnhum with excited anticipation.

A number of the Grand’s dining partners continue to offer dine-out meal options so we encourage Londoners to ‘make a night of it’ and celebrate the Un-Opening Night by supporting those downtown eateries, who along with so many other businesses, have been hit hard by the pandemic. Please visit our website for more information on the dine-out options available. 

All events noted will be offered at no cost to anyone wishing to participate. For more information on how to register and take part in any of the programs noted, please visit the theatre’s website – grandtheatre.com.

The Grand recognizes the support of the many donors and sponsors who have contributed to the theatre since the forced shutdown and acknowledges the ongoing support of our season sponsor, BMO Financial Group.

 

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471 Richmond St.

London, ON N6A 3E4