Guthrie Theater announces budget cuts, truncated season for 2021

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The Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis will stay closed for the rest of the year, according to a letter sent to theater staff.

Theater officials said they thought there would be a chance to reopen in the fall, but the coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected its budget. Executive Artistic Director Joseph Haj told staff they can only budget for a three-play season beginning in March 2021.

That means the theater company won't perform "A Christmas Carol" over the holiday season for the first time since 1975.

"In any given season our largest source of revenue is earned income," Haj said. "Being unable to perform and earn income via ticket sales for so long is devastating."

The Guthrie Theater's board initially approved a budget of $31 million for the 2020-21 season. The revised budget now stands at $12.6 million for the season that is tentatively set to run from March to August 2021.

The theater has selected two of the three plays it plans to produce next season: "Sweat" and "Private Lives."