Valley Performing Arts recently canceled its production of “A Bunch of Amateurs” just more than a week before opening night due to concerns about the play’s content potentially offending the public.
“After a careful and thoughtful review of the show and how it was going to be presented, it was decided to cancel the performance of A Bunch of Amateurs. Valley Performing Arts strives to provide quality live theatre and concerns about the artistic interpretation of some of the situations required the Board to make the appropriate decision to not do the show.
Some of the feedback we’ve received has been critical of the Board’s timing and initial oversight of the script...we agree and accept some of the criticism. There were other factors that we won’t discuss in a public forum. However, the fact remains that VPA is committed to the values of our community. We will work diligently to ensure appropriate programming of performances going forward.
We appreciate the hard work of our volunteers and value the time that they committed to the production and thank them sincerely for their efforts on the show. We appreciate your understanding and the support that you give us show after show and year after year. If you have any questions, please contact the VPA office. Thank you,” VPA officials said in an email.
VPA Executive Director Garry Forrester said this was the first time they have had to cancel a show. He said it was due to the strong language and circumstances.
“We have to protect the reputation of the organization and do what we feel is in the best interest of our patrons. Doing something that was questionable or not in good taste was simply not an option,” Forrester said.
Forrester admitted that the cancellation was ill timed and everyone is using it as a learning experience moving forward.
“We do value our volunteers and not willing to open them up to criticisms as well,” Forrester said.
Forrester said it was a difficult decision to make and it was “late in the game” but they are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.
“We’re sincerely sorry for it,” Forrester said.
VPA’s 44th season begins in September with the classic musical, “Mama Mia.” For more information, see valleyperformingarts.org