A COVID Outbreak Has Canceled the First Week of Portland Center Stage’s Season-Closing Play

“Rent” is now scheduled to begin on June 1 and will run through July 10.

Another COVID outbreak has hit the production group at Portland Center Stage, forcing the scrap the first week of its season-ending show.

Today, the company’s director of marketing and communications announced the cancellation of several performances of Rent, the hit 1996 musical by Jonathan Larson.

The production was scheduled to begin previews on May 21 and hold its opening night on May 27 at the Armory’s main stage. Now, PCS plans to begin the show on June 1. The production had already been extended from June 26 to July 10 due to strong ticket sales, so there will not be any additional performances.

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical directed by PCS’s associate artistic director Chip Miller is about a group of young artists fighting for justice during the AIDS crisis more than two decades ago. Based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème, the local production features the debut of several artists, including Johnny Newcomb (The Last Ship on Broadway) as Roger Davis and Nyla Sostre (Hamilton in the second national tour) as Mimi Marquez.

“Rent is a piece of theater that has lived in my heart and mind for as long as I can remember,” Miller stated in a press release. “It is thrilling to be able to cull this material for an urgency that will resonate with today’s audiences,” they continued. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to make art with this kick-ass team of collaborators.”

On May 13, PCS announced that is would continue requiring all patrons to wear masks in its facility until further notice. The company had been planning to discontinue its face covering mandate on May 20, but decided against that due to the most recent health and safety advisory from Multnomah County.

That means guests must remain masked except while seated in a designated area of the lobby, or while actively drinking in the theater. However, PCS will discontinue checking vaccine status before entry.