DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Cast members of Act Out Theatre Group, based in Scranton, dimmed the stage lights and closed the stage door on Saturday.
“We have postponed all operations for the next two weeks simply to keep our children safe and our family safe and our patrons,” Dan Pittman, artistic director, said.
The group was set to perform Peter Pan, Romeo and Juliet, and a miscast cabaret over the next three weeks. Pittman says he made this decision to stop the performances after looking at recommendations made by the CDCin the midst of Coronavirus concerns. He says it was difficult to tell his cast the news about the postponement.
“A lot of it is kind of just putting a damper on everyone. We were lucky enough to have one weekend of peter pan happen before everything kind of messed everything up,” Pittman said.
“It was devastating largely because I know how much the children and their families were really looking forward to it,” Kalen Churcher, assistant artistic director, said.
“I was obviously sad, bit heartbroken, but I understood that it’s just to keep all the kids safe, all the parents safe, all the families safe. “
“Act Out” isn’t alone. Other theater groups in the area are also closing just before opening night. Pittman says it’s hard to close during this time of need because theater is an escape for many actors.
They can just come and create and be characters and forget about what’s going on outsideit sucks that it affects something so magical in the sense that you can’t escape anymore. It’s there. You have to deal with it,” Samantha Greenfield, who portrays Peter Pan in the play, said.
Although the closing of the show is difficult for many of the cast members, Pittman says the show must go on.
“April and may, currently I’m trying to keep the two shows that are in process still going while adding other shows into the the mix with it so that everything can kind of happen all at once,” Pittman said.
“I think if we take these precautions now, hopefully we’re able to get back in here and get folks doing the things they really love doing the most,” Churcher said.