News & Announcements

Chautauqua to Return to Its Tent Roots in 2021

Opera, Theater open to all to be presented in an outdoor venue on Pratt Avenue

Following analysis of the potential use of Norton Hall as the primary venue for Chautauqua Theater Company and Chautauqua Opera Company performances in 2021, Institution officials have opted instead to construct a temporary performance pavilion on Pratt Avenue for the presentation of performances with lawn seating open to all gate pass holders.  The plan includes the presentation of approximately 40 theater, opera and selected other programs over the nine-week Summer Assembly.  In addition to lawn space open for self-seating and requiring no additional ticket, a limited number of reserved seats under the cover of the pavilion will be sold for each performance at $25 per person.  Recognizing the Pratt Avenue location is normally used informally and in limited ways during a typical Summer Assembly, programs at the pavilion will be scheduled to take place during the day and early evening hours only, and all public events will occur on a pre-published schedule. 

While the Institution has chosen not to move forward with indoor performance activities in Norton Hall that involve multiple singers and personnel, it may be possible to use Norton Hall for some less complex programs, such as master classes, where only one presenter/speaker would be on the stage at any given time.  

Interim Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer Deborah Sunya Moore said this is an opportunity to try some new things.  “While we will miss creating theater and opera in Bratton Theater and Norton Hall, we are enthusiastic about this new venue as a unique alternative that will enable us to do what we do every season — produce singular artistic experiences especially for Chautauqua. We are deeply grateful to our artistic directors, performing and visual artists, faculty and staff for their tremendous innovation and flexibility during this unusual time. We all agree the show must go on — and very safely,” Moore said.

The full schedule of events will be announced later this spring.  Reserved seats will go on sale in April, but all Traditional, GAP, and Day Pass Holders are welcome to attend the events with no ticket required for lawn seating.