WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Performing while wearing masks may be difficult, but one local theatre company is turning lemons into lemonade with a creative way to finally put on their production.
For the last 14 years, the mission of KISS Theatre Company has always been to make their workshops both educational and fun. And now during the age of COVID-19, that goal is even more present.
“In theater, you wear masks from time to time but not to this extent,” artistic director Jessica Suda Baab said.
After production had been halted for five months due to state regulations, roughly two dozen eight- to 14-year-olds are finally back on stage, ready to deliver one unforgettable show.
“A lot of us have experienced outdoor theater, but this is a first for all of our kids,” Baab said.
Along with added spacing, masks must be worn at all times while on stage.
“Half of your expression is in your face. It’s in your smile, it’s in your frown, it’s in your grimace,” Baab said.
But special clear masks will be utilized for this show along with the first time that KISS Theatre has utilized a thrust stage, meaning audience members can be seated on three of its four sides, something that will be a surprise for parents and guardians when they come and see the show since rehearsals have been off-limits.
“Last summer I used to stay and watch a little bit, but that’s not only because of the coronavirus. She doesn’t want me here anymore. She’s getting older now and doesn’t want Grandma hanging out,” Cheryl Smith, a grandmother of one of the performers, said.
In the event of inclement weather, performances will either be rescheduled or cancelled. The show is scheduled for this weekend. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, September 18th and Saturday, September 19th. Sunday’s performance is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Tickets are only available online at kisstheatre.org or one hour before showtime at the theater’s box office at 400 East End Centre in Wilkes-Barre.