COVID-19 put a damper on Greenville’s arts scene but as lockdowns lift, one group is ready to hold its grand reopening after a year of being closed to indoor performances.
Centre Stage, 501 River Street, announced plans to kick off the summer, indoor season with “My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra.” Season members can begin booking their seats for the show in May, according to a Centre Stage release.
Managing Artistic Director Laura Spencer Nicholas said they choose “My Way” because it is a smaller-scale production, meaning everyone can safely perform.
“Not to mention, Sinatra has such a wonderful story of resilience – his music just reaches people. It seemed this was just the best option for a comeback,” she said. “I’m very proud of how Centre Stage has been able to pivot – we really have been able to cut expenses, be smart about what we’re doing and regroup and refocus. I really believe we’ll be able to open stronger than ever.”
A year of Uncertainty
Nicholas said the grand reopening comes after a long, difficult year for Centre Stage. Hundreds of local directors, designers, choreographers, actors, musicians, stage managers, artisans and other workers were put on hold.
“When we closed in March 2020 – we had hundreds of contractors pre-contracted for the upcoming season. We had to say, ‘We’re sorry, we’re not really sure what’s going to happen.'”
But, a steady offering of patio shows – safe, socially-distant outdoor productions – helped build the framework to invite people back inside, she said.
A series of upgrades at the theatre are also in place to ensure everyone can safely enjoy a performance, including:
- Touchless hand sanitizers
- Additional health screenings for staff and performers
- A new HVAC system that includes better air filtration systems
- Pre- and post-performance cleaning and fogging services
- Limited, socially-distanced seating, as needed
The Centre also announced plans to begin the full, 2021-2022 with the musical, “Godspell” (Sept. 09 through the 26th), followed by “The Complete Works of William Shakepeare (Abridged),” (Oct. 21 through Nov. 7).