Apr. 6—The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's production of "The Tempest" has fallen victim to the pandemic for the second consecutive year.

A statement on the festival website says that the summer production at Southmoreland Park has been canceled because the Actors' Equity Association's COVID-19 safety protocols would have made it "both logistically challenging and prohibitively expensive."

The free festival, which traditionally produces a work of Shakespeare each June and July, is bound by Equity regulations because it employs professional actors.

Still in the works for this summer are live and virtual summer Shakespeare camps, a staged filmed production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a filmed production to celebrate Missouri's bicentennial and other events.

The website says officials expect to announce the 2022 production of the Shakespeare Festival in September.

Last April, as the pandemic took hold, organizers announced that "The Tempest" would be postponed until 2021. But now, the fact that even an outdoor production can't proceed as the pandemic winds down suggests that it will be several more months before live professional theater returns to the area.

Most companies are looking at full seasons beginning in late summer and the fall. The outdoor Starlight Theatre has two shows scheduled: "Sister Act" (Aug. 10-15), which Starlight is self-producing, and "Escape to Margaritaville" (Sept. 21-26).

Starlight also has a full slate of summer concerts beginning with Lindsey Stirling on July 3, as well as limited-capacity shows featuring the Kansas City Ballet on May 21 and 22.

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