GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Showings of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are ending earlier than expected.

Every year the Hippodrome Theatre puts on a summer musical, employing professional stage actors from all over.

Stephanie Lynge, the artistic director of the theater, tells TV20 that this year the curtains will close earlier than expected due to COVID-19 illness concerns and the loss of multiple grants.

“The governor cut all of the arts funding for every arts group in the entire state of Florida,” Lynge stated. “Plus the city which has always been very supportive of the arts with their budget difficulties has told us not to expect events through them.”

Lynge says the show must go on, it just may not be for as long as residents are used to.

“It’s a huge issue,” She added. “The Hippodrome Theatre is about 50% earned income from our ticket sales, from our cinema, from our mainstage, the other 50% are donations and grants.”

The theatre will launch a fundraising campaign on Monday in an effort to ensure they have a show next season.

You can purchase tickets to the last showing of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee here.

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