Rebecca Ralstin as Mary Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life
How do you reopen a theatre in a pandemic that has lasted 18-plus months?
You work hard, get a great team, get creative, pray a lot, cross your fingers and say thank you more times than you ever imagined possible to all the people who made it possible for your organization to survive.
And that’s what’s happening at MET at home in the Warwick Theatre.
MET successfully opened its first show of the season, the Kansas City premiere of Jane Anderson’s MOTHER OF THE MAID. Following robust COVID-19 protocols, creating a bubble of a 100% vaccinated staff, cast, production team and crew, and asking audience members to mask and present their vaccine cards for entry resulted in safety and success. Rigorous attention to COVID safety held tight.
Karen Paisley, MET’s Artistic Director, directed the production and said, “We are so grateful with “Maid” to pass around the Cape Horn of this virus safely, getting all the way through without a COVID incident. Our team worked so hard to make a safe fortress where we could work, create and perform. Audiences generously supported our COVID efforts. The excitement of being together again safely was electrifying.
The combination of these efforts resulted in a successful eight-performance run that reopened the Warwick Theatre to audiences after the long dark hiatus since March of 2020.
Keeping this in mind, MET has elected to adjust the production schedule to sustain safety and success. With the announcement of the children’s vaccine coming soon, MET consulted with local doctors and made the decision to shift performance dates to Jan 20-30, 2022.
95% of our Oliver cast has been vaccinated for some time, said Paisley, but the youngest children couldn’t be. This shift keeps everyone as safe as possible and allows time for our children to get their vaccines to give us a 100% vaccinated cast. This is game changing. All of our performers are able to stay with the production. By being flexible, we can keep our cast and audiences so much safer.
MET’s Holiday treat IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE opens in December. The Warwick can hold over 300, but MET is capping at 70. OLIVER takes the stage in January with a 100% vaccinated cast and crew. We are so grateful for the understanding of everyone involved in supporting this change. Being safe, flexible and resilient protects our youngest artists and audiences and strengthens our whole ensemble, Paisley said.
It gives even deeper meaning to Consider Yourself Well In.
–Angela Carole Brown (photos by Bob Paisley)