Zoellner Arts Center officially announced that it has canceled all of its events until May 13 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision came following Lehigh’s initiative to limit large-scale gatherings.
With many of these events being either student-run or led by guest speakers, the decision came as a disappointment to many as the realities of the impact of COVID-19 became clear. However, this does not mean these events are canceled for good.
Phillip Clauser, the interim director of Zoellner, is working tirelessly on the phone to try and reschedule these events so people won’t miss out on the experiences.
In the chance that a guest speaker is not able to reschedule their event, the ticketing department is finishing up on issuing refunds to customers.
“The box office is going through the process of refunding people tickets for the shows that have been canceled, and we’re operating under basically all the shows that are canceled, and if I’m able to reschedule, people can buy the tickets then,” Clauser said. “It’s just a cleaner way of doing things.”
Although Zoellner may have closed, the directors are still working to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Since there are no shows going on at Zoellner, there are talks of moving previously scheduled routine maintenance from July to now. This way, more shows could possibly be scheduled for the month of July.
But this idea presents its challenges, too. No one is currently allowed inside the Lehigh buildings.
“We’re working on building the events in the ticketing system for next season, so we are actually busier than ever,” said Sandy Anderson, director of Audience Services at Zoellner. “All staff are safely working from home.”
The spring production of “Godspell” has been canceled, which causes a conflict with the class that is making the costumes for the show. The costumes are currently inaccessible to the students because they are inside Zoellner, while most students are home for the semester.
Since designing and making these costumes were a part of the work for the course, it is currently unknown what the professors will do as an alternative.
Although all of this may seem like a bump in the road, the Zoellner staff said they are optimistic about the upcoming season.
“I believe that after this drought of staying home and not having sports or arts or anything, there’s nothing like sitting in an audience and hearing a choir live,” said Zaharo Staurinos, the director of Advertising at Zoellner.
Rescheduling events may sound complicated, but there is a chance to fill the upcoming season with shows that might have been canceled this season.
The National Geographic event with guest speaker Brian Skerry, originally scheduled for March 29, has already been rescheduled for June 28.