Room, the stage adaptation of the bestselling novel and 2015 film, will not come to Broadway this spring as planned: Producers announced today that the show has been postponed indefinitely “due to a shortfall in capitalization” following the withdrawal of a Lead Producer.
Described as a play with songs, Room was to have starred Tony winner Adrienne Warren and Tony nominee Ephraim Sykes, with previews beginning on April 3 at the James Earl Jones Theatre.
The production was in rehearsal and is shut down as of today, a remarkable and highly unusual move for a show this far along in its development.
“In the midst of our rehearsals we were informed by one of our Lead Producers that due to personal reasons, they did not intend to fulfill their obligations to the production,” said producer Hunter Arnold. “Since being notified, the rest of the producing team has exhausted all possible avenues to keep the show on track, but the narrow timeline and economic shortfall created by this series of events has proven to be insurmountable.”
Arnold continued, “We are incredibly disappointed not to be able to open this remarkable production at this time and are especially heartbroken for our incredibly talented cast and creative team who were hard at work in the rehearsal room.”
Producers Sam Julyan and James Yeoburn stated, “We have been honored to share the story of Room since its world premiere in 2017 in London and its subsequent productions in Dublin, Scotland, and Ontario. We truly believe that today’s disappointing news will not be the end of Room on stage.”
All purchased tickets will be refunded and ticket buyers should return to point of purchase to process those refunds.
Complete casting for the was announced just last month, and a trailer and first-look photos were released.
Room is written and adapted for the stage by Emma Donoghue, based on her 2010 best-selling novel which she also adapted into the award-winning 2015 film. The production features songs and music by Scottish songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett and is directed by Bissett. The Broadway staging was to have started previews at the Jones on April 3 ahead of an opening night on Monday, April 17. The limited engagement was to have run through September 17.
The lead producer who withdrew from the production was not identified. In addition to Arnold, the producing team was to have included Julyan, Yeoburn and ShowTown Productions. In today’s announcement, ShowTown was not included among the producers quoted in response to the postponement.
Spokespersons for Room declined to provide additional comment beyond the released postponement announcement.
Room tells the unnerving if ultimately inspiring tale of, as the official synopsis states, a kidnapped teenage girl, Ma (Warren) who has been locked for seven years inside a purpose-built room in her captor’s garden. Her five-year-old son, Jack, has no concept of the world outside and happily exists inside Room with the help of Ma’s games and his vivid imagination where objects like Rug, Lamp and TV are his only friends.
The play had its world premiere in 2017 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in Stratford, London, with direction by Bissett and starring Witney Wright. The production ran until June 3, 2022, then transferred to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Room was scheduled to make its North American premiere at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario on March 13, 2020, but the production was postponed due to the Covid-19 shutdowns. The play had its North American premiere in Ontario in 2022, later transferring to Toronto.
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