The future of events at Krannert Center is up in the air, as the University of Illinois continues to examine what the next year is going to look like. Director Mike Ross had this to say:
In any normal year, we would be announcing the upcoming season at Krannert Center with great excitement, looking forward to performances by local, national, and international visiting artists on the Marquee series; by the Departments of Dance, Theatre, and the School of Music including Lyric Theatre; Sinfonia da Camera; Champaign-Urbana Symphony; PYGMALION; and Champaign Urbana Ballet. However, in this anything-but-normal year, we simply do not yet know what form of gathering will be possible at the Center this fall and into the spring. We do know that the safety of our community—including the national and international touring artists with whom we partner—is paramount, and we await further guidance from the university and state while we simultaneously prepare scenarios that can be put to use when the time is right.
In recent weeks, our staff has helped students transition to a new way of learning and living. We have shared with the community resources that can provide solace, connection, and inspiration while we are separated. We have engaged with our campus and community partners to learn more about how current circumstances are affecting their goals and dreams and how we might assist. And we have marked with gratitude the closing of our 50th-anniversary celebration, looking with hope to the future.
At the same time, our artist partners—the individuals and ensembles from around the world and from within our community that the Center presents on its stages and supports through commissioning and research activities—have faced a dramatic upending of their work and their livelihoods. The invigorating, life-sustaining connection between artists and audiences that occurs through live performance lies at the heart of our field, and during this time of separation, all parties are suffering. We are grateful for the many artists working creatively to reach out through digital media during this time of extreme challenge, and our staff is vigorously at work to partner with them in those efforts. But while that way of connecting can be done effectively and with meaning, it cannot replace the fullness and richness of shared, in-person experience.
Because of the many uncertainties surrounding the coming months, we have not yet announced the events we have planned for the 2020-21 season—a work of curation more than two years in the making—nor have we put tickets for those events on sale. We expect to receive important guidance from campus leadership in the next several weeks, and our intention is to share information about the season with you in the latter part of June. While we will share with you our original intentions for the season, all performance plans remain contingent on pandemic-related conditions and continued campus guidance. We will not place tickets on sale until safe gathering procedures are established.
The artists who have committed themselves to perform at Krannert Center next season are our friends, our colleagues, and our inspiration. And though it is possible their performances might not actually take place as planned, we are eager to honor and support them—as well as the students, faculty, staff, and community partners involved in planning and bringing a season to realization—and do all we can to connect you with them through acknowledgment of their intended roles in the 2020-21 season and through other means.
I thank you sincerely for your steadfast and impassioned support of Krannert Center. You are in our hearts, and I know that together we will get through this and come out even stronger on the other side.
Top photo by Patrick Singer.