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Home > Entertainment > Theater > Theater makes a comeback in Reno — with pandemic restrictions (video)

Theater makes a comeback in Reno — with pandemic restrictions (video)

By Bob Conrad
"The Thanksgiving Play" at Reno Little Theater.

Expect pandemic precautions at local theaters. Masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccines are required at most local theaters, said Melissa Taylor, executive director of Reno Little Theater.

“That’s what we’re doing at all the theaters right now,” she said. “We care about our community. That’s what it comes down to.”

Taylor said if a cast member comes down with the coronavirus disease, the production stops.

“We want to be able to do what we do and we want it to be as safe as possible,” she added.

RLT is one of the last local theaters to launch a new production now that vaccines are widely available. Brüka Theater is finishing a production of “Waiting for Godot” this weekend.

Melissa Taylor, executive director of Reno Little Theater.
Melissa Taylor, executive director of Reno Little Theater. Image: Bob Conrad / This Is Reno

“Brüka Theatre guests will need to show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theater and they must be fully-vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine,” said Brüka’s Mary Bennet. “This means guests must wait at least two weeks after their final shots to attend a performance.

“As vaccination has proven the most effective way to stay healthy and reduce transmission, Brüka Theatre has decided to implement these safeguards for the health and welfare of our community.”

Good Luck Macbeth is also requiring either proof of a vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entering the theater. GLM, which ran “The Colony” in late August and September, is in the process of producing “Nightmare on Taylor Street: Wet & Screaming!” for an Oct. 15 start date.

“Audiences will need to either bring a physical copy of their vaccination card or a photo of your vaccination card,” GLM’s website states. “The completed date on the vaccination card will need to be at least two weeks prior to the performance date the patron is wishing to attend.”

Restless Artists Theater (RAT) is also requiring patrons be vaccinated. Masks are required with the exception of actors on stage. RAT is hosting “Emile” starting Oct. 29 but re-started productions this summer.

“Each patron, performer and staff will have to present a valid COVID vaccination card indicating their positive vaccine status,” RAT noted on its website. “We hate this but we believe it is the only way to ensure that everyone is safe!”

Taylor said RLT spent time off on fundraising and reflecting on the future of the theater.

“We used the time to really consider the art we were making, the stories we were telling, what sort of legacy we want to have and considering how we want to be as a community theater,” she said. 

RLT’s first production since March of 2020 speaks to a renewed vision. “The Thanksgiving Play,” written by Larissa FastHorse and directed by Dwight George, features people of color playing white characters.

George discusses the play in the video below.

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