In an apparent "zoning issue", the City of Ottawa is shutting down a youth theatre troupe's backyard performances of Shakespeare.
The group of young thespians, who call themselves "Company of Adventurers", has been rehearsing Shakespeare's 'A Comedy of Errors" in an Old Ottawa South backyard. The performance will not go ahead in September, CTV reports.
The troupe planned to take donations for the Ottawa Food Bank. Company of Adventurers told CTV that they had rules in place to make sure that they could comply with COVID-19 regulations. The small crowds would be by reservation only and would be spaced out.
Ultimately city bylaw stepped in to shut down the planned performances, the reason : the backyard is not "zoned for a performance".
"When I heard the news, I was kind of shocked, because this has never happened before in all the years we’ve been doing this play," performer Paula Selskiw told CTV News.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tweeted that city staff were finding a way to fix this issue and offered the use of Windsor Park free of charge for the performances.
The troupe responded on their Facebook page. According to them, the issue is not resolved.