CLEVELAND — For more than a year, there’s been no lights, curtains, audiences, or performances at Playhouse Square. However, that’s all going to change when "The Choir of Man" opens on Friday, bringing life back to the 11 performance spaces that have been silent.
“It’s been 65 weeks since our last performance at Playhouse Square,” says Gina Vernaci, President and CEO of Playhouse Square.
"The Choir of Man" will serve as the launch of a return to live theatre at Playhouse Square, with many more shows to follow. The 11 performance spaces have been sitting dark for over a year, with performers itching to entertain.
“It’s very emotional,” says Vernaci. “You can just feel the life coming back into the building. People are singing, they’re dancing and instruments are being played.”
Currently, for "The Choir of Man," which is slated to run through July 11th, they’ll still be at limited capacity. Audiences will be seated in groups spaced out by at least 6 feet from other pods of people. However, that all will change when 'The Lion King" comes to town in October and they get back to full capacity.
“The wonderful thing about the Choir of Man, it’s allowing us to see just how it all works and run it through,” says Vernaci. “So by the time we get to this fall, we will have our systems in place.”
The reopening setup will have cashless transactions inside the theatres. So food, beverages and souvenirs must all be purchased by card or mobile options. They also have contactless ticketing. Masks are not required for vaccinated guests, but still advised for those who are not. Of course, just like everything else nowadays, things are subject to change.
Vernaci says, “No matter what comes our way, we’re ready. For whatever journey this takes us, whatever turns are ahead of us, we’re here to take those turns.”
Playhouse Square is excited to roll with any punches to get back to dazzling audiences, because the show must go on.
“We’re here to be here for you,” says Vernaci. “When you’re ready, we’re ready.”
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- 'The Lion King' returns to Cleveland's Playhouse Square this October
- Cleveland Ballet announces shows in upcoming season at Playhouse Square, including 'The Nutcracker' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
- Playhouse Square looks ahead to reopening plans
Editor's Note: The below story aired in March of 2021