Saint John Theatre Company have replaced its planned production of Mary Poppins with the musical comedy, Nunsense.
Due to pandemic limitations, the SJTC has decided to cancel its planned Main Stage production of Mary Poppins. Citing large-scale casting requirements and heavy production costs in a time with reduced ticket selling capacity, the company decided to select a more feasible production option.
“There is no small way to produce Mary Poppins. It requires a large cast, large scale settings and costumes, a special team to arrange for having Mary Poppins fly through the air, and large intricate dance numbers,” said SJTC artistic director Stephen Tobias.
“It is a project that is impossible to rehearse and stage in a time where physical distancing is still required. Another issue is, quite simply, the cost. A large-scale production offering the kind of crowd-pleasing spectacle provided by Mary Poppins, is extremely expensive to produce and present. Given the expected COVID-19-related reductions in seating capacity at Imperial Theatre, there is no feasible model for producing Mary Poppins until we can be assured that we have the capacity to fill the theatre. I love Mary Poppins and I think it is an amazing musical to share with our community. We will wait until such time as the theatre is unrestricted, and we have the all-clear from provincial health authorities to produce the play in the grand style that our audience deserves to see,” he said.
Mary Poppins was originally scheduled to be part of the company’s 2020 season. In July, it was announced that the original production scheduled to take place in November would be moved to May of this year due to complications resulting from COVID-19.
Saint John Theatre Company will now move forward with a revised program that features Dan Goggin’s 1985 musical comedy, Nunsense, directed by Bob Doherty.
“I believe that our community, tired of being stuck at home for the last year, is very much in need of some entertainment and fun,” said Tobias. “To replace Mary Poppins, I had searched for a smaller cast, simpler to design, yet amazing fun piece of musical theatre and that led me to Nunsense. This is a crowd pleasing, family-friendly, laugh-a-minute play that will be worth leaving the house for!”
About the Musical
Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of “Grease.” Comedy ensues.
Mary Poppins tickets will be valid for Nunsense. SJTC subscribers and single ticket will need to contact the Imperial Theatre to have their seats re-assigned in accordance with updated capacity and seating requirements.
In addition to live performances, streaming options are also available for those who are not comfortable attending the theatre in person. For ticket holders who prefer to stream this production, a refund will be issued for the in-person ticket through Imperial Theatre box office (506-674-4100) and a streaming ticket can then be purchased by visiting: www.showtix4u.com
For inquiries about seating adjustments or refunds, please contact the Imperial Theatre box office at 506-674-4100.