Since closing its doors earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Winter Park Playhouse has been entertaining its patrons via virtual events while implementing upgrades at its facility to make in-person performances as safe as possible. In January 2021, the venue is finally reopening to the public with a newly built stage and several COVID-19 safety measures.
The new stage, built with funding from Orange County, the CARES Community Arts PPE, and Facility COVID-19 Public Health Grant, features several improvements and was designed to create more space between the performers and the audience, as well as between the performers themselves.
“At a time when safety is a primary concern, building a new stage allowed us to socially distance the actors from each other and the audience,” said Roy Alan, Winter Park Playhouse Artistic Director. “We are proud to say that not only does the new stage raise the actors to a nice height for performance, but we gained more depth, an enhanced structure for tap dancing and dance choreography and a designated orchestra pit.”
Additional sanitation measures were also installed in the theatre. UV lighting in the building’s HVAC system will scrub and clean the air and PermaSafe, an anti-viral/anti-bacterial sprayed on all surfaces, is guaranteed to kill the virus on contact for a 12-month period. The Playhouse also placed touchless faucets and hand dryers in the restrooms, hand sanitizing stations throughout the theatre, and a plexiglass divider in the box office.
With the new safety measures in place, the Winter Park Playhouse team has announced six new musical theatre shows to take place in 2021 with live, in-person performances. The series of musicals includes “A Grand Night for Singing,” “Respect: A Musical Journey of Women,” “Five Course Love,” “Crazy for Gershwin,” “Book of Merman,” and “Christmas My Way: A Sinatra Holiday Bash.” The shows will premier in the order listed and the first two will offer virtual viewing options in addition to in-person, socially distanced seating. Information on show dates and times as well as purchasing tickets is available online.