Merced County Times Newspaper
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Suspense builds pending Playhouse reveal of 2021-22 season

Playhouse Merced Education Director Beth Christensen (top left) teaching virtual Dance Workshop with students Abby Kubo (top right), Elysia Rodriguez (bottom left) and Hazel Guzman (bottom right).
Playhouse Merced Education Director Beth Christensen (top left) teaching virtual Dance Workshop with students Abby Kubo (top right), Elysia Rodriguez (bottom left) and Hazel Guzman (bottom right).

Theatre lovers have less than a month to wait until they find out what Playhouse Merced, located at 452 W. Main Street in Merced, has in store for its audiences this season!

Ever since the 2020 – 2021 season had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, community members have been missing the good times they had as audience members in the main theatre and Black Box Theatre.

Beth Christensen, Playhouse Merced Education Director, told the Times, “We’re announcing our new 2021 – 2022 season on April 1.  It will start toward the end of the summer, and we are hoping that by that time we are able to be together, whether that means outdoor performances or something else.

“However, until the COVID numbers come down to what they need to be for in-person, we have to do everything 100 percent virtual with no in-person, since we are in the Purple Tier, which is the most restrictive.

“We will hold our classes in person when we get out of the Purple Tier.

“Until then, we still have a full virtual class schedule going for kids ages 6 through 18.

“Classes are going really well.

“The families have been really supportive and positive.

“We have super passionate and talented instructors who have worked really hard to make the transition from in person to online, and we’re lucky to have such a great staff.

“We offer Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Acting, Voice and Playwriting this semester.

“We added Playwriting in December for kids 12 and up, and we still have scholarship opportunities available.

“Each student will pick their own subject matter, and they choose a genre – – comedy, drama, farce or any other – – and they write their own play.

“They have from December to the end of May to dig in and work on their craft.

“The last time we held a Playwriting class in the summer workshop, ‘Writing the One Act’, the kids did a virtual performance of their play.  There were two scenarios – – one option was low-tech which was the play was recorded on Zoom, and the other was recording the audio using microphones.

“A lot of the kids from the class were in each other’s pieces.  We made a giant circle and everyone was six feet apart, and everyone was masked and had their own microphone and that’s how we filmed it.

“The kids were so excited to see their work filmed.  It was a whole new experience for the kids to get to see themselves on film.

“The kids and the families have stuck with us, and we’ve been so blessed.

“We’re hoping everyone out there stays safe, and we hope to be in-person as soon as it’s safe and possible.”

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