GREENSBORO, N.C. — As restrictions continue to loosen from the pandemic, more venues are finding safe places to host in-person events. One example of this is the theatre.
The University of North Carolina Greensboro School of Theatre is back open to in-person audiences and productions.
What You Need To Know
- UNCG theatre is back to in-person performances and audiences
- UNCG theatre moved all performances to virtual last year
- The threatre is only seating at half capacity for performances
The school has started rehearsals for their first play of the season, “As You Like It,” a musicalization by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery based on the original by William Shakespeare.
And since COVID, things have changed inside the theatre to make everyone feel safe and protected.
“There was a time I was like ‘I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to normal,’ and it’s been step-by-step were doing things, you know a little bit more like we used to do, things aren’t totally back to normal, but I was very much surprised that it was this quick to get back and do a full musical,” said Maddie Conti, UNCG Senior, Musical Theatre Major.
Maddie Conti is one of the lead actresses for the play. She’s been acting since she was 8 years old and began singing in church. This isn’t the first time Conti has been in the limelight. She got her first break in the Greensboro community theatre play of the “Wizard Of Oz.”
“From then on, I fell in love it with, I played a little munchkin, and I was in it for the next couple of years and did more shows in the community, in the Triad, and just really fell in love with it – and I thought there is no other thing I want to do.”
Conti says she was surprised to be able to return to the stage so soon at UNCG. The COVID-19 changes impact those on stage and off stage.
For those performing, they are tested weekly. It’s free on campus. They also wear masks when they’re rehearsing and performing.
“Of course we’re masked, we use these singer masks, because they are bigger, and we have more room to breathe, have breath support and be able to really sing to the fullest potential. And also had COVID breaks for a while, when in our smaller space we’d stop and wait 15 minutes to air out the room and to make sure everything was all good.”
Those not on stage will be socially distanced. Only 181 people are allowed in the audience of the theatre, which is half of the theatre’s capacity.
“It’s just really cool to have an audience period, I think. And the fact that we get to do this now, where we thought it might be years when we got back into it, is really fulfilling.”
Conti wants people to remember the arts are still alive and providing for the community.
“The theatre is not dead by any means, and there are a lot of people working very hard to make sure that comes to fruition.”
Musical theatre returns to Taylor Theatre with the musical “As You Like It” running September 24 and 25 and September 29 through October 2 at 7:30 p.m., and September 26 at 2:00 p.m. Most of UNCG theatre fall productions will also be available via on-demand streaming.
On-demand streaming will be available October 14-16. For more information about in-person or on-demand streaming tickets, please call the UNCG Theatre Box Office from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 336-334-4392, or visit UNCG Theatre website.