Stage Door News

Blyth: The Blyth Festival cancels “The Waltz” due to Covid in the cast

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Gil Garratt announced today that the Blyth Festival is cancelling the entire run of their third show of the season, The Waltz by Marie Beath Badian.

Caught in Ontario’s seventh wave, with Covid 19 spreading in the company, the Blyth Festival was twice forced to delay the beginning of rehearsals, and after sober reflection we are now at the point where there is no longer a conceivable way to thoroughly, or appropriately rehearse the show, and so we have cancelled the show outright.

“This is a new play, and a premiere production: the playwright has never seen it staged, the director has never worked these scenes, and these actors are the first to ever inhabit this work… none of them has really been able to even start this work in the rehearsal hall. And now we’re out of time to do it right. Artists are sick and they need time to heal. The only time to heal is right now…there will be other opportunities to make this art, and to make it the right way, honouring the years of dreaming that have already gone into it.

Creating new, original plays, is not just what Blyth does, it is what we are…and a new play can’t be crushed and rushed to the stage…that’s not how we make the best in new Canadian plays.

This has been a very difficult decision to come to. We started a commission for this play in 2018 as a sequel to Marie Beath Badian’s 2013 hit Prairie Nurse. Marie Beath has been working on this project for a long time now and it is truly sad to have to cancel.

An emergency meeting with the Board of Directors resulted in a decision to cancel the run. When faced with the option of putting a play on stage that hadn’t had enough time to rehearse, it made no sense to try to move forward with it. It would not be fair to our patrons, our sponsors or to the artists themselves. As one Board Member expressed “faced with choosing between taking a financial loss, or compromising our artists and our artistic integrity, the choice is obvious. We take the financial loss.”

Blyth is currently working on getting in touch with ticket buyers, so if you have purchased tickets to The Waltz, please be patient with us; you will be called to sort out that purchase.

John Ware Reimagined by Cheryl Foggo, is still slated to start previews September 1st and will be the closing show of the season.

For more information on this release or about the Blyth Festival please visit or call 1-877-862-5984.