PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The curtains are starting to rise again on the Philadelphia theater community. Fully staged productions are back in one of their crown jewels.
The Wilma Theater along the Avenue of the Arts will soon be brought to life with something it hasn’t seen since the start of the pandemic – a live performance in front of a live audience.
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“Tonight is our first night with audiences live and in person here at Wilma on Avenue of the Arts since March 2020,” said Leigh Goldenberg, Executive Director of Wilma Theater.
Excitement fills the air as staff members prepare the theater for the show, with numerous COVID protocols in place.
“We will have a member of our hospitality team here to welcome you,” Goldenberg said.
Members of the public will be greeted with hand sanitizer stations and masks, which are required. Immunization status is also a must.
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“We will require proof of vaccination for all members of the public. We ask spectators to wear masks while enjoying the show. We have reduced the theater capacity from our typical 300 seats to 150, ”Goldenberg said.
Once you have obtained permission to enter, your stamp gives you permission to enter the theater.
“You will show your digital ticket and enter the theater,” Goldenberg said.
It’s a new standard for theatergoers, but organizers hope they get the same joy that only live performances can bring.
“Personally, I started this work right at the end of this last show so I worked here at Wilma entirely on a digital capacity and although we have created some amazing digital work during this downtime period in nobody, we’re so excited to get back to what we’re supposed to be doing, which is playing live for the audience here on stage, ”Goldenberg said.
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Many theaters in Philadelphia are preparing to welcome spectators and live performances again. The Kimmel Center will also celebrate the opening night of the Philadelphia Orchestra on Tuesday.