Outdoor stage is set for Phoenix Theater Company to hold outdoor performances amid pandemic

Indoor concerts or plays have been put on hold as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, shows are taking place outdoors.

Phoenix Theater Company, which closed down for the first time in its 100-year history in March 2020 due to the pandemic, is holding outdoor performances. These performances, a callback to the days of Shakespearean theater, are the only viable path forward during a pandemic.

“It’s a massive undertaking, and it’s been done in a nanosecond of time," said Karla Frederick, Phoenix Theater Company's Director of Production. "We’ve had to transition quickly and find a way to continue to produce. It’s been challenging and we went through a few iterations of options, and we landed on this great partnership through the United Methodist Church. It’s been a game-changer for us.”

Actress Lynzee Foreman, was just getting ready to start rehearsals for the Rocky Horror Picture Show when the shows at the theater were shut down. She was suddenly left scrambling to try and pay the bills

“I tried to teach classes online, get some extra income because that was it," said Foreman. "My husband and I had the Rocky Horror Show coming up and we have a 4-year-old daughter. That was the food on our table."

The fall outdoor show lineup starts on Nov. 10. Temperature checks and distanced lawn chairs might not be the night at the theater people might expect, but the show must go on.

“Everyday I wake up and go, 'ya know what? The show must go on.' And it will. And it is," said Foreman. "The Phoenix Theater Company, they’re doing it right now. They’re building it. If you build it, they will come."