This spring SCT received a Greater Salina Community Foundation grant to create a communications campaign informing patrons about safely returning to the theater.
Just as winter had begun to melt away, the COVID-19 pandemic froze daily life to a standstill, leaving programs and plans at the Salina Community Theatre on hold.
Determined to find a way to return to the stage Michael Spicer, Executive Director at SCT, began communicating with his staff, first through Zoom meetings and then in small groups as regulations allowed, to formulate a way to safely break through.
Spicer and staff mapped out safety protocols that included dozens of procedures on masks and distancing, cleaning costumes and mics, taking temperatures, even caring for props by leaving them on a table to be sanitized before they could be used on stage again.
With a safety plan in place, Spicer reached out to the Greater Salina Community Foundation for a grant that could help the organization communicate to patrons, parents and students about the level of safety measures they had hammered out. The $3,000 gift enabled SCT to use direct mail and social media to show the way.
One of many challenges to overcome was to find a way actors could perform on stage with masks. The answer came after Spicer paid a visit to his audiologist. He noticed the doctor was wearing a mask with a clear space – so patients could see his lips moving.
Those masks became part of the costume for 43 kids this summer leading to four sold out performances for Frozen Jr.
Photos courtesy SCT: Anna Gogadi plays Elsa during a performance of Frozen Jr.
Spicer adds the shows will continue to roll out this fall as planned with Freaky Friday the Musical on stage September 4 through September 20, followed up with The Thanksgiving Play October 16 through November 1 and Little Women The Musical playing November 20 through December 6.
Available safe seating for shows is currently capped at 145 seats which is fifty-percent capacity of the main theater.