High School Production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ Cut Short Due to Covid

Update: Make-up performances for Sweeney Todd have been tentatively scheduled for May 27 and 28 at the Canby Fine Arts Center.

Canby High School theater’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been cut short due to a coronavirus outbreak, officials reported Friday afternoon.

The high school theater troupe presented its debut performances to rave reviews last week but, along with Principal Greg Dinse, announced ahead of Thursday’s 7 p.m. showtime that the night’s performance would be canceled due to illness, but hoped to hold Friday and Saturday’s shows as planned.

It was not to be, as Dinse sent an email before 2 p.m. confirming all remaining performances would be canceled due to a Covid-19 outbreak affecting an undisclosed number of students in the theater program and other classes.

Photos courtesy Canby High School Thespians:

“As members of the school community, we understand that this might raise concerns,” Dinse said. “We are working closely with the Clackamas County Health Authority. Due to privacy rights, we cannot share any additional information regarding the individual.”

According to school tradition, the annual musical had been planned for two weekends, with 7 p.m. shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

“We are saddened that we aren’t able to share our second weekend of ‘Sweeney Todd’ performances with the Canby community,” Sullivan Mackintosh, CHS drama adviser and the director of Sweeney Todd, said. “The cast and crew are a team of incredible students whose dedication to creating this show deserves the highest of recognition.

Sweeney Todd was a delight to put on, and I am so proud of everyone who has been involved and thankful for the support of the students’ families throughout the process. The care of this tight-knit group will continue to allow the connections and creativity amongst the CHS theatre community to flourish, despite the many challenges of this school year.”

District Communications Director Kristen Wohlers told the Current Friday the cancellations are due to a combination of illnesses. In fact, Covid had not been a factor in the cancelation of Thursday’s show.

Officials ask that parents monitor their students for symptoms and keep them home if they are not feeling well.

“The best way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses is through staying home when ill, wearing face coverings, physical distancing, getting vaccinated, if eligible, and practicing good health hygiene habits,” Dinse said.

“Be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid contact with people who have signs of illness. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Protect the community by following the Governor’s safety requirements.”

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