SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— For members of the performing arts community, the stage is a second home, and after much time away due to the pandemic, each show feels like one step closer toward a return to normalcy.
This is true for many creatives, including those part of the arts-friendly incubator Scranton Fringe.
The organization is presenting a theatrical performance this week based on the Simpsons Television Show and Eyewitness News reporter Madonna Mantione spoke with the talented people who are eager to get back on the stage to perform it.
Swordfighting and the xylophone were both part of Saturday’s rehearsal of, “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.”
It’s billed as a love letter to live theater and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, directed by Scranton native Simone Daniel.
“This show is a massive show, and I think especially considering how out-of-practice everyone has been, they’re working twice as hard. But I think we’re all twice as grateful to get to have the opportunity to do this again, finally,” said Daniel.
The production kicks off Thursday at the People’s Security Bank Theatre at Lackawanna College featuring talent from Philadelphia, New York City, and right here in our region.
“I play two roles, I’m Jenny in the first half and then I get to play Marge in the second half,” said Kimmie Leff.
Kimmie Leff has been part of the local performing arts scene for nearly two decades.
Post-pandemic, she’s thrilled to be back doing what she loves with the people she appreciates.
“The theater community for me is like family. They’re second-family, and that’s very much a support structure. It’s nice, it’s like breathing again,” Leff told Eyewitness News.
Elena Naharmann is a full-time actor based in Philadelphia.
She said it’s great to be traveling to communities like Scranton again.
“I felt alive again the second I could get back in rehearsal with my peers, work on something. The second you can hear an audience react again to what you’ve been doing it just makes you remember why you wanted to do it so much in the first place,” Naharmann explained.
Celebrating creativity in northeastern Pennsylvania is the mission of Scranton Fringe.
Ticket sales support the artists and help the industry rebound.
“If they see this show, it’s going to create more shows for them to see year-round. More events, more live music. More visual arts, they’re contributing to an ecosystem,” Daniel concluded.
If you can’t attend the show in person, you can watch it live-streamed in the comfort of your own home.
To learn more about showtimes and how to purchase tickets, go to the Scranton Fringe’s website.