Welcome back! That’s the Erie Playhouse message to the audience as they opened up their first in-person production in a year and a half.
The musical-comedy Something Rotten has been 18 months in the making. The COVID-19 pandemic closed the theatre down in March 2020.
While live audiences were back, a proof of vaccination was required or a negative COVID-19 test. Folks were still required to wear face masks.
For the first time in over 500 days, the Erie Playhouse welcomed in a live audience to enjoy the music, singing, and bright lights.
“This cast is so excited to be able to bring this show back on stage and to be able to welcome in an audience full of people to experience live theatre again is just such a tremendous joy for all of us,” said Kate Neubert-Lechner, Executive Director at the Erie Playhouse. “When you’re not able to produce theater, when you’re not able to producing things that are garnering income, it’s very difficult but we have managed to soldier through with support of the community and the support of some government grants. We were lucky to come out on the other end because some organizations were not as lucky as us.”
Something Rotten actor Curtis Jones III says being away from the stage for so long does take a toll on you mentally.
“I’m sure this pandemic has taken a toll on a lot of people mentally, so to be able to have that for myself personally, it just meant the world to be able to be back with friends doing what we love and sharing with the world what we love to do,” said Curtis Jones III, actor with Something Rotten.
For Jim Zahler and his wife, this is their first musical they have seen since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“I’m looking forward to the future and, hopefully, more plays on a regular basis,” Zahler said.
“I am so excited for them to finally open Something Rotten, it’s so close to my heart,” said Jeanne Santos, a resident of Erie.
The theatre went through a period where all but two members of the staff were furloughed.
It was only this month that The Erie Playhouse was able to get their entire staff back on the payroll.
The production runs until October 17th. You can click here to buy tickets.
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