Open Forum

ZFX cancellation question

  • 1.  ZFX cancellation question

    Posted 03-21-2020 10:13
    Due to our school closing, we are likely going to have to cancel our spring musical, The Little Mermaid. We had planned to fly with ZFX.

    We've been informed by ZFX that if we cancel, we not only will not be refunded our downpayment, but we must pay in full because we have contacted them after the 21-day contractual agreement. That fee is $9,000! 

    We were delayed because our treasurer was unable to follow-up swiftly per our request because other matters required her immediate attention, so she asked us to contact ZFX. 

    Has anyone else encountered a similar, and do you have any advice for us?


    Dr. Jo Beth Gonzalez
    Bowling Green High School
    Teacher/Drama Director
    419-3540-1011 ext. 1117
    High School Theatre Transforms Lives!

  • 2.  RE: ZFX cancellation question

    Posted 03-22-2020 10:35
    Edited by Stephen Benjamin 03-22-2020 10:36
    Given everybody's circumstances during this difficult time, it's unthinkable that they would hold you to that contract.  You might have some luck with news agencies.  This kind of story could actually hurt them.

    Every penny we spent on our cancelled musicals will not be coming back to us this year through box office.  To add a $9,000 expenditure for a service that never took place and insurance profits for zero risk...

    Well, it's unconscionable.

    Stephen Benjamin
    Director of Theatre Arts
    Garfield Heights OH

  • 3.  RE: ZFX cancellation question

    Posted 03-22-2020 11:31
    I completely agree with Stephen!! How can they possibly do this to a school? I wonder if there are other schools involved. "The squeaky wheel get the grease!" So start squeaking!

    Suzanne "Mama" Craig
    MS/HS Theatre/Speech
    Lipscomb Academy
    Nashville, TN

  • 4.  RE: ZFX cancellation question

    Posted 03-22-2020 20:33
    That seems incredibly heart-less. I cannot believe that they would do that. We had to cancel our show too, and all the support contracts have been very understanding. Of course I am not cancelling however postponing - just seems more hopeful.
    Good luck with that. It seems very unjust.
    Kristin Duerr
    Director of Drama
    Notre Dame Academy Schools of Los Angeles

  • 5.  RE: ZFX cancellation question

    Posted 03-24-2020 11:53
    Edited by David Simpson 03-24-2020 11:58

    Someone on the Technical Theatre Educators Facebook group is experiencing the same thing. The founder of ZFX replied there as well, and it was not positive. Is there a Force Majeure clause in your contract you might be able to invoke? Perhaps your school district lawyer can get involved? I would not expect to get a down payment or deposit back in full, but the entire contract amount it outrageous since they have not prepped the show and will not incur travel expenses. I certainly would not make any additional payments. I cannot imagine that ZFX could afford to litigate all of their outstanding contracts.

    Good luck. This amount of loss can be devastating to a program..


    ZFX's Reply from the FB post: "I am the founder and owner of ZFX which is a small and passionate company that doesn’t have deep pockets. Not only did your show cancel with short notice – almost all shows for the next six plus weeks have cancelled.
    I am ashamed to say this has
     forced me to lay off some long-time employees and make other drastic payroll reduction measures to weather this storm.
    I’m sorry that your school district lost a show but my focus and concern is on my people not losing their houses or even worse: their health care.
    If ZFX survives this, and many small companies won’t, I would be more than happy to discuss any contractual obligations with you. However, this is not the proper forum and this certainly isn’t the appropriate time.
    Lastly, for the other members of this group, we are doing everything that we can to reschedule dates for shows that have postponed, including extensions of weeks for people who have already received their gear or even had it installed.
    Robert Dean"

    David Simpson
    Performing Arts Center Manager
    East China Schools
    East China MI