Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum Theater Season Canceled As Covid Reverberations Present “Crisis Unlike Any Other”

The 2023-24 theater season at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum will be halted in July due to what its operators are calling the aftereffects of the Covid pandemic, an economic “crisis unlike any other in our fifty-six-year history.”

In a statement, Center Theatre Group, which operates the Taper as well as the Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas venues, said that the pause in programming at the Taper will include the postponement of the world premiere of Fake It Until You Make It by Larissa FastHorse and the cancelation of the previously announced tour stop of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee.

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“Pausing season programming at the Taper is a difficult but necessary decision that will impact artists and audiences,” the CTG statement says, adding that the move “is particularly painful for the talented and committed CTG staff who have dedicated so much to bringing great theatre to L.A.”

According to CTG, the Los Angeles arts organization, like those across the country, continues to struggle with “the aftereffects of the pandemic.” CTG says it “has been struggling to balance ever-increasing production costs with significantly reduced ticket revenue and donations that remain behind 2019 levels.”

“We are still facing a crisis unlike any other in our fifty-six-year history,” reads the CTG statement. “It is in this environment that we have to take the extraordinary step of pausing a significant portion of CTG programming beginning this summer and continuing through the 2023/24 Season, as well as taking significant restructuring measures to build a vibrant and sustainable organization that can navigate this new paradigm.”

The statement is attributed to Amy Forbes, CTG’s President of the Board; Snehal Desai, Incoming Artistic Director; Meghan Pressman, Managing Director & CEO; and the Center Theatre Group Board of Directors.

Calling the Taper “the heart of CTG’s groundbreaking programming,” the statement says that while CTG will not be programming a season at the venue this year, it hopes to utilize the space in “innovative, non-traditional ways through special events and community-centered programs starting as early as the fall.”

A 2023-24 season at the Ahmanson and select programming at the Kirk Douglas will be announced soon.

The postponed Fake It Until You Make It will be directed by Michael John Garcés. Larissa FastHorse became the first female Native American playwright in Broadway history with the 2023 production of The Thanksgiving Play.

The canceled Cambodian Rock Band is directed by Chay Yew.

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