By Michael Moran
After opening our 58th season in September, we continue into 2021 doing what we’re calling a pandemic-adapted performance series. We’re doing it show by show, because we just never know what tier we’re going to be in or how many people we’re going to be able to have in the theater.
We continue for now only allowing 55 patrons into our 184-seat theater to ensure social distancing in the audience, while still requiring face masks be worn all the time they are in the theater building and temperature checks for each performance. Though 55 seats are a fraction of our house, we hope that our safety measures continue to make our audience members who have returned to our theater to feel safe and well entertained as they visit our theater.
At each performance, we ask our audiences about their experience in the theater. Afterwards we ask, “How did you feel? Did you feel comfortable? Did you feel safe” Everybody was overwhelmingly positive about the experience.
Our cost to operate the theater stands at about $30,000 a month. To help keep afloat, we have also been doing fundraising along side of each production. This has actually been a good opportunity for our theater to pivot, and not look at ourselves just as a performing arts venue but also a production facility to help people that want to get online and stream theatrical shows in streaming content.
We are so grateful for our patrons and sponsors who have stepped forward to help this theater continue to survive the troubled times of 2020 and those still ahead. You are all the folks that have put the word “community” in community theater.
Now on to 2021 …. Are you a live comedy-horror musical fan? I am now. For this tremendously funny musical, Little Shop of Horrors, is being performed at Cultural Park from Jan 7 through Jan. 17. The show is inspired by 1950s rock ’n’ roll and Motown, featuring lovable characters, and a mysterious singing plant with a plan to take over the world. Many of the theatre goers in the audience may have seen the 1986 movie starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin. (Is 1986 really 35 years ago?!) Many were introducing their young families to Little Shop of Horrors for the first time. And our production of this wonderful musical hit for sure, either way, will not disappoint.
This season, our productions are Thursdays at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays at 3 p.m. With our priority of keeping everyone comfortable, safe and wonderfully entertained, the theater will open one hour before each show. When you come in to the theater, you will be able to go directly to your seats so not to crowd the lobby areas. We have suspended our meet and greet with the cast after productions. To reduce congested hallways, you will be able to exit the theater through several doors at the end of the performance.
The Cultural Park Theater is located at 528 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral. Call 239-772-5862 or visit www.culturalparktheater.com for more information.
Michael Moran is executive director of the Cultural Park Theatre Company.
By Michael Moran