Due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus, the Sherman Community Players announced Monday that the production of Mamma Mia has been postponed for the foreseeable future.
Officials with SCP said the decision comes following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Open Texas, which limit large gatherings.
"We’re profoundly disappointed in the postponement of Mamma Mia," SCP Artistic Director Josh Harris said. "Ultimately, the responsibility to keep our volunteers, staff, and patrons safe weighed heavily.
"With such a large cast & crew, the logistics of rehearsing and performing while maintaining safety standards proved to be too difficult. We are very thankful for the continued support of our season members as we all navigate through this time."
Unlike other shows, including the rest performances of Steel Magnolias which boasts a cast of six, Mamma Mia requires a cast of about 32 in order to put on. This made it difficult for the actors and actresses to rehearse while social distancing, let alone performing before an audience.
"This difficult decision to postpone is made in concert with the actions of other regional theatre groups which have canceled performances," SCP Board President Alvin Bailey said. "We are concerned about the rising numbers of cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and how this affects our patrons, cast and crew and all other SCP volunteers."
Bailey said SCP has not set a new date for the performance, but tentatively said that it would likely be next spring. However, the decision to change the date likely will not affect the casting of the major parts..
"We may lose some of the ensemble members, but they should be easy to recast," he said.
The next two performances, Dracula and A Christmas Carol, have smaller casts and are not expected to be impacted. Additionally, SCP has received streaming rights for both, making virtual performances an option.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.