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COVID continues to disrupt the Guthrie Theater's return season.

A Raisin in the Sun, which was supposed to begin its run Wednesday, Jan. 12, is being pushed back until late spring 2022, the theater and Artistic Director Joseph Haj announced. He cited COVID infections among vaccinated cast members, as well as the surge of infections seen across the state of late.

The Guthrie is also canceling its planned production of Destiny of Desire, which had a planned April 30-June 5 run in Minneapolis before heading to Broadway. Multiple artists who were supposed to be involved in Destiny of Desire have seen other projects delayed — leading to a cascade of scheduling conflicts and necessitating the Guthrie's cancellation decision.

“The ongoing effects of the pandemic in our industry cannot be overstated, and despite taking every available precaution, the omicron variant has proven extremely difficult to navigate within a production schedule we outlined many months ago," Haj said in the announcement. “Given that health experts predict the COVID-19 surge may not peak in Minnesota until mid-to-late January, we felt it prudent to reconsider our calendar. As difficult as these decisions may be, we stand by them as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our artists, staff and audiences.”

Haj also thanked the Raisin in the Sun director, Austene Van, for agreeing to return to the Guthrie this spring. Dates for the postponed shows have yet to be determined. 

All other Guthrie shows on the calendar will — as of Tuesday — continue as planned, the theater said.

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The Guthrie Theater closed in spring of 2020, at the start of the COVID pandemic. In the summer of 2021, the theater announced its reopening plans, including A Christmas Carol that fall. But the omicron-fueled surge resulted in the final three performances of that production being abruptly canceled

The omicron variant, believed to be the most transmissible yet, has quickly taken hold in Minnesota, particularly the Twin Cities. State health officials recently estimated more than 90% of all new COVID cases in Minnesota are the omicron variant. 

The surge has prompted a new wave of restrictions, cancellations and pleas from health care organizations that are under immense pressure from the spike in cases.

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