Theatre Baton Rouge struggling during pandemic, but has plan to get performers back in the spotlight

Theatre Baton Rouge looking to bounce back after pandemic hits industry hard

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Baton Rouge area performers are getting creative, because as the saying goes... the show must go on (even if that means performing in front of smaller audiences).

Theatre Baton Rouge performers have not been able to perform in front of a live audience in months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now, they’re preparing to welcome small audiences back to their main stage for a new play called American Son.

Theatre Baton Rouge is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but this year has been tougher than usual due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic has been rough. I think theater is all about connecting. It’s about telling stories and it has been a way for us to kind of socialize for years and all of that came to a halt,” said Director Greg Williams Jr.

There hasn’t been a curtain call for the performers in at least about eight months. The company is now trying to move forward with its new show. Changes are of course expected, but the actors are eager to get back on-stage.

“If we perform the show, it helps somebody out, or it helps them get through like a rough time or anything like that during a time like this,” said company actor, Austin Ventura.

Rehearsals for American Son are now taking place over Zoom. In-person rehearsals will remain small and the cast members will wear their masks.

It has been a difficult year for the company in terms of revenue, but as for the cast, they miss doing what they love together. Actress, Mercedes Wilson-Villaseonr, says it has been a very emotional time.

“I know that a lot of people are going through challenging times right now, but we just hope that once again we are a family here and it’s not just people working here. We take care of each other. We just want to make sure the staff who is here is taken care of,” she said.

Opening night for American Son is Sept. 25. Theatre Baton Rouge will sell 40 tickets. The audience will have to socially distance from one another and wear masks. If you would like to see the show, visit Theatre Baton Rouge’s website to purchase a ticket and select your seat.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.