Emerald Coast Theatre Co. ‘cautiously optimistic’ about fall season
MIRAMAR BEACH – As Emerald Coast Theatre Co.’s virtual cabarets come to an end, the arts company is ready to pursue what it does best: live theater.
Producing Artistic Director Nathanael Fisher and Associate Artistic and Education Director Anna Fisher announced the 2020-21 season on Facebook this past Friday. And they have a plan to combat the spread of the coronavirus amid a time when they feel live theater is needed more than ever.
“We’ve really looked into some of the event safety guides,” Nathanael Fisher said. “We’ve been transforming our theater. We’ve taken quite a few seats out where people can sit and social distance at the same time in the theater. We installed plexiglass. We fog the theater every night with disinfectant.”
The final virtual cabaret, Broadway Playlist Live, in which people can vote on the songs performed, is at 7 p.m. Aug. 13. For information on voting and donations, visit https://www.facebook.com/ECTheatreCompany/events.
To view the full eighth season schedule or purchase tickets, visit https://www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org/on-stage. The Theatre’s full safety protocol is available at https://www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org/ectc-safety-protocol.
In approaching the Theatre’s eighth season, the staff took a note from its summer programming. They still held children’s summer camps, but with COVID-19 preventative measures in place.
“Summer camps are always fun, but they’ve been extra special this summer,” Nathanael Fisher said. “You can just tell kids have missed being with other kids. These kids seem to really enjoy being here and the camaraderie.”
With this in mind, Nathanael Fisher is particularly excited about the Theater for Young Audiences program, in which professional actors perform shows designed for children. Among these are “Red Riding Hood” and “Treasure Island."
They will also expand their educational programming with Junior Company, which is specifically designed for high school kids looking to further their training.
The 2020-21 season offers a variety, from the musical comedies “First Date” and “Legally Blonde Jr.,” to the Theatre’s annual performance of “A Christmas Carol,” to the action dramatic comedy “Popcorn Falls.” Despite the constantly changing nature of the pandemic, Nathanael Fisher is excited about the upcoming season, he said.
“I’m reading safety guidelines every day,” Nathanael Fisher said. “We’re constantly trying to stay up to date to serve our community in a safe way. It seems counterintuitive to be talking about all these new programs when we’re heading into a year that nobody knows what’s going to happen, but we’re cautiously optimistic.”
Nathanael Fisher recently ran into a theater lover at the grocery store.
“They said, ‘Please tell me you’re about to announce your next season. Please tell me you guys are doing something this year. We’re so ready to experience theater again.’”