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Intermission: Theater, arts organizations work to stay afloat amid shutdowns

By Kylie Masznicz
Published: Last Updated on

With the rise of a COVID-19 pandemic forcing businesses to close, it was inevitable that the entertainment industry would be facing similar tribulations. Last week several theaters and performance halls announced they were closing their doors for the time being, putting a halt to productions and canceling scheduled performances.

On a conference call, the Reno art scene collectively decided it was best to all close their doors together.

Christopher Daniels, the Executive Director at Reno theater company Good Luck Macbeth, explained, “Even if one person came in who ended up getting sick and dying, none of us could live with that. It was better to be ahead and united in our decision. It sends a stronger message to the community.”

“Our Classix concerts attract nearly 3,000 individuals to the Pioneer Center, many of whom are in the most at-risk age group for COVID-19,” said Evelyn Klatt, Director of Marketing for the Reno Philharmonic Association. The Reno Phil canceled its Scheherazade concerts scheduled for March 21 and 22.

These organizations had no other option but to cancel shows.

Reno Little Theater
Image: Reno Little Theater.

Reno Little Theater was meant to hold the opening night of their rendition of “The Imaginary Invalid” on March 13. Executive Director Melissa Taylor told This Is Reno, “At this time, we do not know when, or even if, we will be able to reschedule our production of ‘The Imaginary Invalid,’ but it certainly is our hope to do so.”

With the majority of art organizations being nonprofits, they are relying more heavily on community donations to stay afloat.

“We’ve had quite a few audience members ask to refund their tickets, only to donate those funds right back,” said Taylor. “I cannot tell you how much that means to us and for us.”

The show must go on

Despite all the cancelations, it seems as if the community needs art now more than ever. Theater, music, comedy and more are what bring people together through entertainment and laughter. It helps people to not feel so alone. And in these trying times, the feeling of isolation continues to grow. These organizations recognize this, and are putting their best efforts forward to continue bringing art to the people of Reno.

Good Luck Macbeth has started a Patreon page where they post original content and recently shared a dramatic reading of a Sherlock Holmes short story on Facebook. They’re also looking into live-streaming their performances so they can continue their shows.

Mary Bennett, the Producing Artistic Director of Brüka, confirmed that rehearsals for upcoming shows are still being held via video and phone calls.

The hope is that no other shows will need to be postponed or canceled after April. But, it seems everyone is taking this day by day.

This Is Reno’s COVID-19 news coverage

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