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Butte children's theater slowly returning to the stage as COVID-19 cases drop

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Posted at 8:39 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 22:39:55-04

BUTTE - The Bard said the world is a stage, but when the pandemic closed the theaters a Butte theater did its best to keep the show going through remote workshops and performances.

“So we really had to get creative and think outside the box in terms of how do we make that happen while keeping our audiences and young artists safe,” said Orphan Girl Children’s Theater Educational Director Elizabeth Crase.

The Orphan Girl Children’s Theater’s stage had been dark for a year. Now, the lights are coming back up for the latest performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Part of the play will be filmed on the stage and other parts through Zoom.

“We just never quit, we never gave up, we never said, ‘well, theater can’t happen,’ we really work hard to make sure we made theater happen,” she said.

The show will only be shown online, but it’s a step in the direction of returning to live theater.

“It’s been creatively challenging but a nice new challenge and something different that’s I’ve been missing for the last year,” said Crase.

During the shutdown, the theater held 16 remote performances and 11 workshops.

“We just never quit, we never gave up, we never said, ‘well, theater can’t happen,’ we really work hard to make sure we made theater happen,” she said.

As more people get vaccinated and infection rates decline, the theater could return to live-audience shows by this fall.

“That’s going to take a lot of work on our part to make sure we approach it safely so that our young artists aren’t piled in on top of each other backstage and that our audiences aren’t on top of each other because this only a 100-seat house,” said Crase.

This spell should wear off soon, but the real magic here is doing the show at least part of it back in the theater, especially for the seniors.

“Especially this stage, it’s great, I mean there’s a smell in here, there’s an energy, you know, you just get back once you walk through those doors and walk down the stairs and there’s nothing quite like being back on the stage being able to interact with other actors face to face,” said 18-year-old actor Tytan Rosencrans.

The performance can be seen by purchasing a ticket on Vimeo and it runs from April 30th to May 16th.

Butte children's theater slowly returning to the stage as COVID-19 cases drop