PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Many industries and people have been affected by the pandemic, including the theatre industry.
After being in the dark for a year and a half, the comeback has begun. Live shows on Broadway in New York City returned this month, and this week will be the first show in Providence since the shutdown.
“I credit our board and our staff for hanging in there because our industry has been catastrophically affected,” President and CEO of the Providence Performing Arts Center, Lyn Singleton said.
PPAC is back on Friday with a live concert featuring Rhode Island’s own John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.
“Well, it’s one of those kinds of things that I have told my staff is it’s going to be a bumpy fall. Things are going to be choppy, there is going to be some uncertainty, but we will get through it by taking it a day at a time and as my staff has heard me constantly say the events of the world will determine how we have to respond and what we have to do,” Singleton said.
As of now, there are no capacity limits at PPAC, all staff members are required to be vaccinated and anyone attending a show is required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
“I think Friday night will be a very emotional evening not only for the acts, John Cafferty is a local band and John gets it, the staff, and very much so for the patrons, because we really haven’t had a live event in this building in 18 months,” Singleton explained.
Less than half a mile down the road, Trinity Rep is also ready to welcome back live performances.
“It’s certainly been a journey keeping morale up throughout the whole pandemic during the time we had reduced our workforce and so now we have been really active in hiring new filks onto the team but everyone is gearing up,” Executive Director at Trinity Rep, Tom Parrish said.
The last live performance at Trinity was on March 11, 2020.
“There’s a lot of excitement around re-opening, it’s very emotional for a lot of us, we have been separated,” Parrish continued.
The opening night for A Christmas Carol at Trinity is on Nov. 4, and just like at PPAC, everyone working at Trinity is required to be vaccinated.
“I actually just went and saw my first live performance in New York on Monday and sitting in an audience with people in a community and watching a show with actors there is such energy and joy and excitement around it,” Parrish said. “With our comeback, with the Christmas Carol specifically, it’s going to be spectacular like every Christmas Carol is and remind everyone what is truly special about live theatre.”
At Trinity, tickets for both the in-person Christmas Carol shows and streaming service to watch online go on sale this week.
There are also still tickets available for the John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band concert at PPAC. Tickets are $25 each.