The show must continue.
No matter how many times Chance Harmon, General Manager of the Lawton Community Theater, whispered those words to himself in the past year, there were still times he felt like the curtain couldn’t rise again. . And not without reason. COVID-19 has forced small community theaters across the country to close. But Harmon had something these theaters didn’t, backing from Arts for All Inc., Lawton’s umbrella arts organization.
“We’re really lucky to have a group like Arts for All in Lawton,” Harmon said.
With the support of Arts for All and the Lawton community, Harmon said the theater is doing better than expected. Despite the pandemic, they were able to organize a children’s summer camp, a musical at the McMahon auditorium, as well as a few virtual events.
Last year, the theater approached things on a case-by-case basis. But this year, as vaccination rates rise and the country moves towards something like normalcy, the theater has chosen to plan and announce a full season of shows.
“After a year of intermission, we’re excited to finally feel comfortable announcing a season and we’re excited to move forward,” said Harmon. “When we watch the shows for the 70th season of the theater, we wanted to keep things cheerful and light, focusing on the sun coming out tomorrow.”
Music fans may have already understood Harmon’s hint that the first show of the new season will be an “Annie” production in September.
“I can’t tell you how excited we are to be back live and in person,” Harmon said.
Another popular debut production is “Clue: The Musical”. The show, based on the famous board game, will be different for each performance.
“’Clue’ has 216 possible endings,” Harmon said.
Other productions of the theater’s 70th season include “Nunsensations! : The Nunsense Vegas Revue ”,“ Steel Magnolias ”and“ Aladdin Jr ”.
“Finally, to cap off our 70th season, we’ll be going ‘over the rainbow’ with ‘The Wizard of Oz’,” Harmon said. “We really hope this season will be fun and exciting for everyone.”
Originally, the theater had no plans to offer subscriptions this year due to the potential for further outbreaks. However, after some discussion, they finally decided to offer season passes.
“Although we are so close to the light at the end of the tunnel, the theater will continue to make the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients our top priority,” said Harmon. “We ask the community to continue to be attentive to the health pandemic as well and to work with us to ensure everyone’s safety while enjoying quality local theater.”
The audition and production dates for Lawton Community Theater’s 70th season will be announced at a later date. To be among the first to find out, sign up for the mailing list by contacting Harmon at [email protected]
“I can’t begin to thank all of the wonderful patrons who have supported and encouraged us over the past year,” said Harmon. “It has been a year of fears, joys, tears and success. We missed you terribly and look forward to seeing you.