For as long as people have poked fun at Cirque du Soleil’s particular French Canadian blend of acrobatics, mime and modern circus acts, those same people have lined up to see their award-winning stage shows in over 300 cities over the course of the last 36 years. Now, as the coronavirus quarantine remains a necessity into the summer, however, the theater company has reportedly sought bankruptcy protection in an attempt to head-off shuttering the organization permanently.
According to the company’s restructuring plan under Canada’s Creditors Arrangement Act, Cirque du Soleil has had to lay off 3,480 employees that had been furloughed back in March. The company has also entered into a “stalking horse” purchase agreement with existing shareholders TPG, Fosun, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, as well as Investissement Québec, which would hypothetically keep the organization afloat for the time being.
Despite the financial unknowns of the rest of 2020, Cirque du Soleil says they are committed to returning to the stage when health and safety permits. “Performances will resume once the pandemic is under control, pending an easing in government lockdowns and travel restrictions, and in accordance with the new corporate structure in place. Tickets for suspended and rescheduled performances remain valid,” the organization writes on their website.
On Monday, the company tweeted, “To our phenomenal fans, the hope of once again seeing your smiling face in the audience keeps us going every day. We miss you and cannot wait to be together again.” Of their more than forty shows, only Cirque du Soleil’s The Land of Fantasy, which reopened in China on June 3, has been able to resume.