Bosses at Dundee Rep and Dundee Contemporary Arts have announced both venues are closing immediately in order to protect the safety of its audiences and staff.
Staff at the Rep said they don’t know how long the closure and suspension of its activities will last, but has taken the decision following “reinforced guidance” from the Scottish Government and UK Theatre.
A statement released said: “Following the UK Government announcement on Monday 16 March 2020 to step up measures to fight the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, reinforced by guidance from both the Scottish Government and UK Theatre/the Society of London Theatre, we have taken the decision to temporarily close Dundee Rep Theatre.
“This decision was taken on the evening of Monday 16 March 2020 and is effective immediately.
“We take the health and safety of our audiences, staff, freelance colleagues and partners very seriously and as part of the temporary closure, we have suspended all our public activities as an organisation including producing and presenting work, engage classes and Scottish Dance Theatre touring.
“We will be contacting our freelance colleagues and customers over the next few days.
“At this stage, we do not know how long the closure and suspension of our activities will last. However, we anticipate that the rest of our published season will now not take place. We will continue to follow government advice as it is issued.
“This is an incredibly complex and fast-moving situation and it is with a heavy heart that we have taken this decision but the safety of all the people we work with is our number one priority.
“We would like to thank our audiences and supporters for all the messages of support we have received during these uncertain times. As an arts charity, we depend on this support.
“We are currently in the process of informing all customers and would like to assure all those who are affected that you will receive a full refund or exchange for your tickets.
“Due to the large number of inquiries we are asking customers not to contact box office unless your query is urgent. Please bear with us as we do our best to answer a large volume of calls as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
“We recognise this is an incredibly worrying time for our audiences and that you will be concerned about your family and friends as well as having very real considerations about your income in the days and weeks ahead.
“If you feel able to do so, we are asking audiences who have purchased tickets with us to consider opting for the ticket value to be credited to your account, rather than refunded.
“Some of our patrons have already taken the kind decision to donate the value of their tickets to us.
“As with many areas of our economy, there are real viability issues for the arts as a result of the coronavirus and we want to ensure we can continue to create and present the work you love when we open to the public again.
“To repeat, we understand the challenges facing you all and our society more generally, and so refunds will, of course, be available without question.
“Your support means everything to us. We looking forward to welcoming you all back to our work, in happier times, once this is behind us all. In the meantime, stay safe.”
A spokesman for DCA said: “In light of the latest government advice we’ve taken the difficult decision to close DCA to the public from today: we’ll continue monitoring the situation closely and hope we’ll be able to reopen very soon. In the meantime we wish all our audiences, staff and supporters good health in these uncertain times.
“While we’re closed and so many of you are stuck at home we’ll be doing our best to share as much art, culture and creativity on here as we can: watch this space for more details.”