Porthouse Theatre is Kent State’s summer professional theater located at Blossom Music Center. The theater has reopened its doors to the public but not without rules and regulations never before seen by the company.
As of right now, the theater is allowing the shows to be at full capacity. Vaccinated guests do not have to wear a face covering. The theater strongly recommends people who are unvaccinated to wear a face covering.
The theatre has put on three musicals in the past couple of months called QUILTERS, BKLYN THE MUSICAL and ALTAR BOYZ. ALTAR BOYZ will be playing through Aug. 15.
Terri Kent, musical theater coordinator, explains that every day something changes and they have to be flexible to pivot with everything. The union requested a major proposal which she explains was like writing a dissertation. Their approval was approved, they were required to use more union contracts but they could not afford it. This summer they had to use all non-union actors for the season.
“We normally would have cast 20 to 25 people; our cast is 7 now. They’re small, which also allowed us to maintain the distance in the dressing rooms as required,” she said.
Porthouse Theatre usually provides housing for their company members, but they could not this year because of budget cuts. Due to this all of their crew, team and actors had to be local.
“We’ve used many of our musical theatre students in the season this summer. I was really committed to that because their whole academic year last year was compromised and I thought they deserve the opportunity to shine this summer,” she said.
Devin Pfeiffer, a senior at Kent State, explains that COVID taking away theater was a real challenge. He has been actively involved in shows for the past 10 years and when it all came to a stop he was in shock.
“It took away a huge social aspect of my life, along with the creative outlet of my life. It was a very dark period for me and many other people in the arts,” he said.
He explained even though the pandemic was dark it made people rise above something so huge.
“It taught me a lot. I am so glad that we seem to be at the tail end of this pandemic, and I am so incredibly grateful to be back performing live again on stage, mask-free, and fully vaccinated. The joy of live theater is something that I have so greatly missed and am so happy to be a part of once again,” he said.
For more information on the Porthouse Theatre click here.
To buy tickets to ALTAR BOYZ click here.
Sam Wright is a reporter. Contact her at email@example.com.