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The Kennedy Center Cancels Performances Well Into 2021

The Kennedy Center Honors are postponed till spring

Photograph by Jeff Elkins
Coronavirus 2020

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The Kennedy Center will cancel all the performances it had scheduled through April 25, 2021, and announced a host of other cancellations that stretch into next summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Washington National Opera’s productions of La Boheme and Blue, scheduled for May and July, are also canceled, as are the touring productions of Jesus Christ Superstar (scheduled for May 25-June 13), Freestyle Love Supreme (June 8-13), Oklahoma! (June 22-27), Dear Evan Hansen (June 29-July 18), and The Band’s Visit (July 28-August 8).

The Kennedy Center Honors, traditionally held in December, will shift to sometime in the spring, with a “reimagined” format, the center says.

In all, 384 ticketed events will be canceled, the arts center says in a press release. It projects its revenue loss from these and previous cancellations in its 2021 fiscal year to exceed $80 million.

The highly anticipated Blue will be recorded by the WNO and be the subject of a documentary film. The Kennedy Center plans to continue to present its “On Stage at the Opera House” events, which host a limited number of audience members, as long as it’s able to. The National Symphony Orchestra will record two concerts that the center will stream.

The arts center also announced a new benefit for donors and subscribers called Digital Stage+ that will offer exclusive performances. It will also keep up its work for young audiences, including the world premiere of education artist-in-residence Mo Willems’ Leonardo and Sam: The Terrible Monster and the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World, Respectively.



Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.