COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The performing arts are making a return to Columbus this weekend after being shut down for months due to the pandemic.
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra kicks off with “Autumn Fest” and Shadowbox Live is performing in front of an audience for the first time since its stage went dark last spring.
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra has moved from its home at the Southern Theatre to a new location with more space to accommodate social distancing between audience members.
“Audiences will see, obviously, things look different from a safety perspective,” said ProMusica Chamber Orchestra CEO Janet Chen. “The brand-new event space called The Fives will be our musical home.”
Designed to hold large weddings and other events, inside The Fives, audience members will be seated in pods of twos and fours and located six feet apart.
“We’re taking all the extreme measures to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable to be able to bring back live music at a time when really it’s so needed,” Chen said.
This summer, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra tested a trial performance outdoors called Summer Fest, and it has adopted to the idea of scheduling small festival performances instead of a planning a traditional season.
“It’s trying to be flexible, but have a structure for the year that we can navigate best in during this time,” added Chen.
Shadowbox Live is an ensemble of actors, singers, dancers, and musicians who, before the pandemic, would perform in front of packed audiences.
“There are no words…we’ve been shut down for 38 weeks,” said Shadowbox Live CEO Stacie Boord.
From purchasing tickets online to only allowing tables of two and four, Shadowbox Live has gone to extreme measures to make sure audience members feel safe.
“Vinyl barricades between each table, so it has kind of a VIP cabana experience,” she said.
After Thursday night’s opening performance of “The Legends from Liverpool,” the performers are just grateful to be back on stage.
“We didn’t care how many people were in the audience, we didn’t care if we had a mask on, we didn’t care about any of that, we just wanted to do what we do and provide a little escape for some people with some music and some love,” Boord said.