The Footlights Theatre is going above and beyond the Maine state restrictions & guidelines to provide a safe and healthy experience this summer. We got official confirmation in late May to reopen. We could have opened June 1st, but we chose to be extra cautious and reopen on July 7th.
As is the Footlights tradition, there will only be one show performed all summer. A hilarious comedy called “Cupid’s Arrow” that our EAD wrote, with a cast of two. Our EAD has rewritten the ending of “Cupid’s Arrow” for this production only to humorously address the coronavirus restrictions.
To further ensure social distancing, there will be no intermission during the 80 minute production.
The plot of “Cupid’s Arrow” allows for the 2 performers to remain 6 feet apart from each other. As a further precaution, the actors will be performing behind plexiglas.
The capacity of the Footlights Theatre will be reduced to 25 patrons for social distancing. The first row will be 6 feet away from the actors and the stage itself.
We have purchased two new HEPA air purifiers with medical grade filtration for the theater, which will be “on” throughout the performance.
The entire theater will be professionally disinfected, sanitized, and cleaned by the cleaning service, Cintas, every week. And we will disinfect and sanitize all theater seats, bathrooms, and the entire theater before and after every performance.
Any patron using the bathroom will be given a flushable toilet seat cover if needed, an individual toilet paper package and hand wipes so no one has to use the sink. The bathrooms will be stocked with disinfecting wipes, spray, and hand sanitizer.
The entrance door to the theater will be open 15 minutes prior to the performance and after the performance to avoid hand contact with the door handle. Patrons will be allowed in one reservation at a time, going from the front door to our new portable plexiglass box office and then directly to their seat.
One person in each party will need to give their name and contact information upon entering. We will happily take temperatures with a non-contact thermometer.
Anyone who attends the show will be required to wear a mask. If they do not have one, the Footlights Theatre will provide a free one.
Although masks will be required, we have also created 4 seats that will be behind plexiglass for those people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. Those patrons must wear a mask to their seat and when exiting. That special area will be highly disinfected and sanitized before and after each use.
All concession beverages will be bottled, and patrons will take them home with them after the performance.
We know there are people who will not go to the theater at this time. We know there will be people who do not agree with our decision. We respect their decision and viewpoint. We are providing a safe and healthy theater experience for those that wish to enjoy live theater this summer.
AS FOR THE 2 ACTORS- they will have their own entrance into the theater. They will each have their own dressing room. They will each enter from a different side of the stage. There is never any contact onstage or off that isn’t at least 6 feet apart. And, again, they will be performing behind plexiglass.
We closed the Footlights Theatre on March 13th, halfway through the run of a show, and with a major musical in rehearsals. It’s been beyond stressful. We survive on box office receipts, so with no show, there is no box office which means no income. Our patrons have been extremely generous in helping us pay the rent and utilities to keep the theater venue open. Without them, we would have had to close permanently.
We know that there has been social media shaming about businesses reopening too soon and not caring about the health of others. We are incredibly lucky to be a theater that has adjustable seating so we can create social distancing. Most theaters have their seats fixed to the floor. We have removed 50 seats from our theater. We are going way above and beyond all state restrictions at our own cost. We confidentially feel we are safer than a lot of reopening businesses, including a trip to the grocery store.
The Footlights Theatre can financially survive on 25 seats at $20 per ticket. We are currently a staff of one with 2 performers to pay and a box office person. There are no royalties because the EAD wrote the show and the set and props were in storage from when we toured the show last year. So, yes, we can cover our expenses and keep the theater from closing with a seating capacity of 25. There will not be any extra money to save, but at least the doors will not close.
If the phone calls and emails we receive every day are any indication, the seats will be filled like they are every summer. A lot of people are ready to go back into the theater and we feel confident that we can provide a safe and healthy experience. Given what we see and hear everyday on the news and social media- The Footlights Theatre exceeds the precautions and restrictions.
Right now, laughter IS the best medicine and we will be ready to give a big dose to our audiences starting July 7th.
The show will run for 9 weeks, July 7th through September 3rd. Performances will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7pm and the show runs 80 minutes.
It’s the story of Fannie Lou Harper (Leslie Chadbourne) and Jimmie Tate (Michael J. Tobin, Footlights Theatre Executive Artistic Director), two “people of age” who log onto Silver Southern Singles and the wacky world of online dating. It’s a hilarious comedy that will make people forget about the pandemic through laughter- a lot of laughter -as these 2 lovable "losers of love" take a fabulously funny journey to find love!
For more information or to make reservations, please call (207) 747-5434
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