Laboratory Theatre, the new resident company at downtown Madison's Bartell Theatre, has postponed its inaugural production, an African American-themed staging of Willy Russell's 1980 play Educating Rita. The play's run was to have started Oct. 2. "The production has been canceled due to an actor scheduling conflict that could not be successfully resolved," writes artistic director Michele Good in an email to media.
The cancellation would be disappointing under any circumstances. But it's especially so this year, because it follows a flood of bad news from major Madison arts organizations, including the implosion of Madison Repertory Theatre, layoffs at Overture Center and the cancellation of performances by Madison Ballet and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.
Laboratory's arrival at Bartell earlier this year was a rare positive development on the local arts scene. "I'm as optimistic as I can be," Good told the Daily Page in March. "I think there's always a place for theater, and especially a company that's trying to get material out there that's never been seen before."
Laboratory Theatre's next scheduled production is Santaland Diaries, slated to begin November 27.