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Back on Stage: The Legacy Theatre Talks its Return to Live Performances With CHARLIE BROWN & More

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Back on Stage: The Legacy Theatre Talks its Return to Live Performances With CHARLIE BROWN & More

Live theater may have been paused, but the ghost light certainly hasn't gone out for good. The global health crisis temporarily put the theater world on hold to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but theaters around the country are now beginning to open their doors once again, re-introducing live performance to audiences.

Through our new interview series, we are checking in with theaters around the country who are bringing back live performances, talking to them about how they are doing so safely, what they are most excited for and more.

Today our Back on Stage interview is with Mark Smith, Artistic Director at The Legacy Theatre, and Bethany Smith, Executive Producer at The Legacy Theatre.


What show will you be bringing back to the stage and when?

We've already brought You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown to our patrons (instead of The Wizard of Oz) on June 5th at our brand new outdoor venue that is just adjacent to the theater. We call it Legacy on the Lawn. We began creating the venue in late April, and it was ready to go in about 6 weeks. We closed Charlie Brown June 28th. On July 10th, we open Smoke on the Mountain. We close Smoke August 2nd.

How did you come to the decision that it was safe to move forward with putting on a production?

After we created a satisfactory COVID-19 plan based on local and national safety protocols, and after we realized that an outdoor venue would allow us to achieve all safety measures laid out by health experts. We also made sure that the shows we selected would allow us to socially distance actors on stage.

What will you be doing to ensure that your performers and audience members are safe?

For ACTORS:

  • All had to take a COVID-19 test before returning to work
  • We remained socially distant during the rehearsal process
  • No physical contact was made except when absolutely necessary
  • We required actors to wash hands, and the staff sanitized their work environment
  • Temperature checks were taken each time actors entered the building
  • Several of our actors quarantined together for several weeks before rehearsal in our cast housing
  • No meet and greets after shows
  • Actors were 12 feet from front row of audience

For AUDIENCE:

  • This was a contact-less experience
  • All shows are outside
  • Check out the video below!

What kind of response have you gotten from your community in regards to re-opening?

We've realized that we're more than a performing arts company at this point. We are actually a mental health facility! The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have had no criticism about the set up. Everyone has had a wonderful time. There are multiple quotes from audience members on our Facebook page if you'd like to take a look!

Some favorites:

"Thanks for figuring out a way to open up and bring some happiness into our lives."

"I am ridiculously impressed. This is so smart!!!"

"Please go see this! The entire cast is amazing and this is so entertaining. Legacy never disappoints despite it being outdoors. Legacy and its talented staff pull in the play seamlessly as if it's always been done this way. Chairs are 6 feet apart and the sun is moving away as the play starts-so safety from COVID-19 and the sun, no need to be concerned. Great job to all!"

"It was awesome!!! It felt great to laugh and dance and smile and even cry....good tears!!! Thanks for having a dream and making it happen."

How far ahead have you planned for any future performances?

We open Smoke on the Mountain in July. We will open the first show of our 20-21 season, Almost Heaven, both outdoors and indoors (matinees with limited seating) if at all possible.

What are you most excited for in being able to bring productions back to the stage?

They are already back! Just outside! The arts must go on as long as it can be done safely!


For more information visit: https://thelegacytheatre.org/


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