More than 100 jobs at Theatre Royal Plymouth are at risk, as the venue confirms it is beginning redundancy consultations.
The theatre said the redundancies could affect a third of its staff, and said its income had been reduced by 90% as result of the pandemic.
It currently employs 340 people on a full and part-time basis.
It becomes the latest theatre organisation to warn of job cuts, following Birmingham Hippodrome, the Oxford Playhouse and Cameron Mackintosh in the West End.
Chief executive Adrian Vinken said: “With the government’s furlough scheme finishing in October and no guarantee about when and how we can safely open our doors, our already depleted funds will be under increasing pressure in the coming months. This is compounded by research predicting a reduction in audience numbers when we do reopen, meaning we’ll have to weather a significant drop in revenue even then – a situation that could last for 12 months or more.”
He added: “Together these factors have led us to the very painful but unavoidable conclusion that we must reduce our workforce in order to try to protect TRP for the future.”
He said the charity had supported staff and freelancers during lockdown, including paying casual workers and honouring all contracts.
Staff took a 20% cut to support the charity, he added.
He said: “TRP’s excellent reputation in the industry and the fierce level of public support it enjoys has been built over many years and is a testament to the quality of our people. It’s heartbreaking that what was a thriving organisation worth £40-plus million annually to the local economy just weeks ago has been forced to implement redundancies to safeguard the future. It’s a terribly sad outcome for such loyal and capable staff – but a regrettable and inevitable result of the ongoing crisis.”
Although no new date has been set for its reopening, the theatre’s 2020 productions remain on sale, including its Christmas pantomime.