BYU-Idaho Radio · The Effects of COVID-19 on the Rexburg Community Theatre
COVID-19 has impacted communities all over the world. It’s no surprise to see cancellations coming from different organizations and businesses to keep people safe at home. One of those impacted is the Rexburg Community Theatre.
Ann Cluff, the president of the organization, recalled in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio the moment she told the cast and crew of their upcoming production that they had to cancel the show.
“We were in the middle of auditions for the Sound of Music. I was watching the news and keeping my ear to the pavement, and we realized, ‘we can’t, we have to stop,’” she said. “Having to tell all those people that all they went through, all they prepared, their dance numbers, their readings, everything, was going to be put on hold was really disheartening.”
Since then, the Rexburg Community Theatre’s Facebook page has been filled with post after post of cancellations and postponements. Cluff said this hasn’t only been affecting their theatre, but theatres across the country.
“There was such an upset throughout the country that has affected theatre in so many ways because we’re trying to figure out what to do,” said Cluff. “We’ve paid our royalty fees, we’ve invested in all these things, so we have to find out if we can get our money back, so it’s been unpleasant.”
It’s been a real challenge for the Theatre and their production crew, but the good news is that productions for future performances are back up and running. They’re more different now though. Cluff said they’ve had to take more precautions to get around the virus and to keep people safe.
“We have a COVID waiver release form that we have everyone sign prior to being a part of the show,” she said. “We’re encouraging people to get the vaccine; we’ll probably have people mask up in the fall. Ultimately, it just depends on how many people are getting the vaccine and how healthy the community is when we start our performances again.”
Their first performance after the pandemic will be “A Christmas Carol,” and Cluff said this is a great place to start after everything they’ve gone through.
“’A Christmas Carol’ is a great production to start so we can kind of get our feet on the ground so we can get a feel of what we need to do and what it’s going to look like. It’s a smaller cast versus a musical, which can end up pulling over a hundred cast members,” said Cluff.
The production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ will show at the Romance Theatre this December. More information will be available for that on their Facebook page as it becomes available.