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WNO’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ canceled, Kennedy Center closed

Written By | Mar 24, 2020

WASHINGTON –  On Friday, March 20, the Kennedy Center announced it had canceled its entire program of “public performances and events scheduled through Sunday, May 10, 2020, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” In a followup release Tuesday, the KenCen announced that “performances of Once on This IslandSoundtrack ’63, and Washington National Opera’s Porgy and Bess have been canceled, due to COVID-19.”

More information on key Kennedy Center closing, cancellations and reschedulings

The release elaborated further on the reason for canceling these and other events.

“Out of concern for the health and well-being of all artists, staff, and crew members involved and due to the inability to hold rehearsals at this time, Washington National Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess, which was to have been performed May 9­-23, 2020 in the Opera House has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a date to be determined.

“On Sunday, March 22, the producers of the national tour of Once on This Island, scheduled to play the Eisenhower Theater June 23-July 12, 2020, announced the closing of the national tour. Additionally, all remaining performances of Soundtrack ’63in Studio K, the first weekend of which was canceled by the Kennedy Center’s closure through May 10, have also been canceled.

“Until further notice, the Kennedy Center campus and its facilities, including the restaurant, café, and other food service, will be closed. Kennedy Center programmers are exploring options for rescheduling artists and productions for a future date where possible.”

What to do about tickets, exchanges and refunds

Ticket holders for any of the canceled performances, including Porgy and Bess, have several options according to the KenCen’s release.

  • Donate your tickets, and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value
  • Exchange your tickets for a future date or alternate show (where possible)
  • Exchange your tickets for a Kennedy Center gift certificate, or
  • Receive a full refund for the value of the ticket and associated fees

The Kennedy Center is strongly encouraging the initial option – donating tickets back to the Center if affordable and possible. The total ticket value is tax deductible for the donor. These closures negatively impact the nonprofit Kennedy Center, which greatly appreciates the generosity of its patrons.

For all ticket transactions, the Kennedy Center advises the following.

“Due to anticipated volume, we ask for your patience…. For assistance, please contact the Advance Sales Box Office at 202-416-8540 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or submit a form online. For ticket sales & information call us at (202) 467-4600 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Monday through Sunday.”

Those interested in getting the latest information on the status of events and of the Kennedy Center itself, the Kennedy Center’s website will be continuously updated to reflect any changes in schedules or openings that may occur due to the current emergency situation.

Also Read: Spitfire Audio offers superb BBC Symphony Orchestra library: A review

– Headline image: Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as seen from the Potomac River.
(Image via Wikipedia, CC 3.0 license.)


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17