CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Live theater is making a comeback in Charlotte. Audiences are once again filling the seats at theaters, and soon, the doors will open at one of the city’s oldest companies.
After a virtual 2020 season, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte begins the 2021 season in-person this weekend.
Courtney Reasoner is an actor at Children’s Theatre. She says the past 18 months have brought new challenges for her and other performers. While she can rehearse in person, the creative teams have additional safety protocols in place.
“We have been asked to, as much as we’re capable, really, really self quarantine,” said Reasoner. There are also mandatory symptom and temperature checks before and after rehearsal.
Reasoner says the biggest challenge has been rehearsing and now performing in a mask.
“They’re those singing masks that kind of hold their shape,” she said. “It helps not to muffle the sound as much I think. Then two, when you breathe in you’re not eating your mask.”
ImaginOn, where the show is taking place, is in a Mecklenburg County-owned building. As part of the county's mask mandate, everyone must be masked while inside.
Reasoner says this is adding new challenges on stage since her job relies on facial expressions.
"Half of your face is covered, so it's a lot of eyebrows and eyeballs and the rest of your body,” she said. “Then, I guess we'll just kind of play with that, and experience it and talk about it, and adjust as we move. Especially as we move into the theatre space to see how is this reading with a mask on, or how are the lights different with a mask on or things like that."
While it hasn’t always been easy, Reasoner says the new costume piece is worth it to get her back in front of an audience.
Tickets for the new season are on sale now online through the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte website.