Outdoor Original Theater Coming to Chester County

Arts and Athletics Club, a nonprofit organization, is working to bring Theater back to Chester County. Opportunities to get involved in the arts, particularly the performing arts, have been very limited due to the pandemic. Community theaters have closed down, school productions have been canceled, and community members have not been able to express themselves creatively.

That is why Arts and Athletics Club is thinking outside of the box to bring the community together during this time.

Arts and Athletics Club is launching its Original Theater Expansion this Spring after Easter. This expansion means putting together eight original plays spread out through Coatesville, Downingtown, West Chester and Malvern. There will be separate performances for middle school, high school, and adults. The original plays have been written in the community. This program gives everyone the opportunity to act, no matter their age or experience level. By spreading out productions by locations and age groups, Arts and Athletics Club can keep cast sizes small and limit bringing people together.

“Community Safety is our main concern,” says Arts and Athletics Club president Chris Hutelmyer. “We canceled all of our productions in 2020 due to the virus after the pandemic hit in March. While the need for the community to use their creativity is greater now more than ever, we are going to need to do things differently in order to bring the performing arts to life responsibly.”

Doing things differently means switching to outdoor performances. Arts and Athletics Club plans to record all performances at residential locations with limited to no in-person audience depending on the current environment. Audience members will be able to watch all performances online at the comfort of their own homes. Each performance will be reprised in the future for a live audience once it is safe for in-person person performances to occur. All rehearsals will also take place outdoors with Covid-19 protocols in place. This includes limiting rehearsals to specific scenes in order to avoid having groups of people together.

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“The arts are an incredible way for the community to express themselves,” says Hutelmyer. “When putting on productions, our number one priority is to allow everyone to have an opportunity to participate. Programs are meant to be fun and stress-free. If we can make one person laugh, smile, or think during this difficult time, I consider it a success.”

Arts and Athletics Club is looking for actors and crew members of all ages and experience levels. To learn more, including how to register, production schedules, and Covid-19 protocols, visit artsandathleticsclub.com/act-with-us. You can contact Arts and Athletics Club at artsandathleticsclub@gmail.com or 484-947-9586.

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