Tig Notaro, a wonderfully deadpan queer comedian, has canceled her show at the Walton Arts Center “due to a scheduling conflict,” according to an email sent to ticket holders, the Fayetteville Flyer reported Thursday.
The performance was scheduled for June 23, the night before the Northwest Arkansas Pride celebration is scheduled to take over Fayetteville. The Walton Arts Center is still slated to have a $15 Pride showcase that includes six films curated by the Fayetteville Film Fest. No official Pride programming will be held at the Center, per a decision from NWA Pride Director Richard Gathright.
Though no confirmed correlation has been acknowledged, the Notaro cancellation comes during the fallout of a controversy concerning drag performances at the Walton Arts Center. Because the show was canceled, show-goers will receive a full refund, Jennifer Wilson, the public relations director for the WAC, said. More than 900 tickets were sold.
Per company policy, Wilson said tickets are non-refundable in other circumstances — i.e., if you’re upset about the decision from the center and want to get your money back, you’re out of luck.
The Walton Arts Center did not provide any further details on the performance cancellation.
If you’re just tuning in, Northwest Arkansas Pride Director Richard Gathright announced a decision to pull all official Pride programming from the Walton Arts Center on May 10. Gathright cited the Center’s refusal to host the Youth Zone and to not allow drag shows where minors would be permitted. In the weeks that followed, at least one employee left the Walton Arts Center, as well as at least nine members of the board of directors. The Walton Arts Center stood firm on the decision, which was driven by safety concerns and divisive politics, a spokesperson said. CEO Peter Lane sent an email to employees on Tuesday, emphasizing that the company did not ban drag shows where minors were present. He said an executive team had concerns about restricting parents’ access to drag performances where minors would be present.