The Ogunquit Playhouse has canceled its 2020 season, the first that the 87-year-old theater has missed since World War II.

Executive Artistic Director Bradford Kenney said the canceled season would cost the playhouse at least $3 million in lost revenue. The playhouse will attempt to recover that money through fundraising, he said. The playhouse sells about 120,000 tickets each year, with a performance season that usually runs May to October with a holiday production in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It relies on ticket sales for as much as 80 percent of its operating budget, which usually runs between $10 million and $12 million annually.

The playhouse received a small business loan to keep its two-dozen year-round employees on payroll, but hundreds of seasonal employees have not been rehired, Kenney said. The theater held out hope it might salvage a part of its season, but new safety guidelines issued by the state on Thursday made that impossible, Kenney said.

“We saw Gov. Mills’ announcement, and that was it for us,” he said. “It was a decision that she had to make. We don’t lay blame. We are happy with the clarity.”

The theater is asking patrons to donate the cost of their tickets to the theater, and it will launch a fundraising campaign to make up the budget deficit.

This was shaping up as a big year at Ogunquit, with the regional premiere of the new play “The War of Roses,” directed by Jason Alexander, and the world premiere of the musical “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” directed by B.D. Wong. Other shows were “Dirty Dancing,” “Crazy for You” and “On Your Feet!”

Maine State Music Theatre and the Theater at Monmouth also canceled their theater seasons. Also Friday, Maine State and Portland Stage said their co-production of “Ring of Fire,” scheduled to open in August, has been canceled.

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