Evansville Civic Theatre performances return for first time since pandemic began


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The house lights came down and the curtain pulled back. A sign of some normalcy returned to the River City on Friday night. 

It was a big night for the Civic Theatre in Evansville. The first in a series of shows was performed for the first time since January 2020. However, new COVID restrictions were in place for the evening to keep everyone safe. 

Officials say the night went on without many problems. Typically the Civic Theatre holds about 220 people but they were operating at half capacity on Friday night. 

“I mean I guess for tonight I have stage fright in the way,” explained Managing Artistic Director Kevin Roach. “I jokingly told some of our more well known patrons that tonight is an experiment, but one we are excited about.”

Spectators had to wear masks during the performance – but all of the actors you see on the stage won’t be wearing a mask. That’s because they are vaccinated and have been getting COVID tested regularly in order to perform.

“But this is the first time back in the theatre, and with new COVID protocols in place and a whole new ticketing system\,” Roach said. 

Amid the comeback though also lies troubled financials. Money is tight for the theatre with nearly 100 years of history. According to the civic’s website – it hasn’t even reached half of its goal of raising $135,000. 

Many patrons were just ready to get out and enjoy live entertainment once again.

“I’ve always wanted to go here. I just haven’t been here and the pandemic and everything screwed stuff up for sure,” said Jaden Brown. “Since I’ve been going to high school, just wearing masks is a common thing now and so it doesn’t bother me and I mean it helps me feel safer about not catching anything even if it’s not COVID-19.”

The performances at the Civic Theatre will continue all weekend long. You can find a full list of upcoming performances by clicking here.

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