COVID Outbreak Among Cast, Crew Cancels ‘The Octette Bridge Club’ Performances

"It's tough. It's heartbreaking,” said Merry Renn Vaughan, the production's director.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Cases of COVID-19 have shut down a theatre production in Superior after just one live performance and weeks of rehearsals.

In a story on FOX 21 last week, the cast and crew were excited about the all-alumni production of “The Octette Bridge Club” at UW-Superior Theatre.

They got to perform opening night Friday, Nov. 19, but one of the members tested positive for COVID the next day, which shut down the rest of the shows that weekend.

But after everybody with the production got tested, two more were COVID positive this past Tuesday, which forced the director, Merry Renn Vaughan, to pull the plug for the safety of an immunocompromised actor, as well as the safety of crew members and the audience.

“It’s tough. It’s heartbreaking,” Vaughan said. “We were all vaccinated and there weren’t symptoms. The people who are positive would never have tested if we weren’t being precautious of it all.”

Vaughan said there’s no way to make up shows planned for last weekend and this weekend because of other productions in the works for some of the actors who have to quarantine for 10 days anyway per UWS protocol.

Vaughan said she’s worried upcoming productions around the Twin Ports will also get canceled if COVID numbers keep rising locally.

“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for people to get vaccinated so things like this can happen, that the arts can happen, that sports can happen.” Vaughan said.

As for the cast and crew who got COVID, Vaughan said they are doing well – health wise.

“Our actors are fine. They aren’t sick because they were vaccinated. And yeah, they have COVID and they probably will end up with mild symptoms, but they can go on and do the next show in 10 days; they’re not going to be sick for six months or a year,” Vaughan said.

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