No summer theater in Petrolia in 2020

David Rogers - seen here, right, with David Hogan say easing COVID-19 restrictions will allow the VPP to open the 2022 season May 10

There will be no summer theater in Petrolia this year.

Artistic Directors David Hogan and David Rogers and the staff of Victoria Playhouse Petrolia met Thursday and decided there was no way to move ahead which was supposed to start in May.

Hogan and Rogers had already moved the first show of the season to the 2021 event because of the uncertainty around the restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19. Right now, the province says only five people can gather at one time and Premier Ford has said it is unlikely large events will be permitted this summer.

Each summer up to 40,000 people attend performances at the historic theater and pump up to $1.6 million into the regional economy according to statistics from the Town of Petrolia.

Hogan says they have been carefully watching the provincial directives and planned to follow them to the letter of the law, but they were also concerned for their patron’s health. “Our gorgeous seniors; we’re not going to put them in harms way – not at all.”

The VPP plans to move the entire season, including On Golden Pond with Michael Learned and Hal Lindsay to the 2021 season. They ask people to “hold on to their tickets, because they will be honoured in 2021.”

The pair are also hopeful the Christmas shows planned for 2020 will move ahead, however plans will be made to change those dates if necessary also.

“It’s difficult because this was sizing up to be one of our best seasons,” Hogan tells The Independent, adding “We we’re already selling better than we did the year before.”

But he added they remain hopeful because “we will be together again, one day.”