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The Perry Players prepare to welcome audiences back inside as COVID-19 restrictions relax

The theater company will open 'Beauty After the Beast' to 50 people inside the theater and to an online audience

PERRY, Ga. — Theaters in Central Georgia felt the effects of COVID-19 as they postponed shows and closed their doors to audiences.

Governor Brian Kemp announced theaters and other live venues can reopen on July 1. 

Now, people can watch the Perry Players' newest production from inside the theater or from the comfort of their own home.

'Beauty After the Beast' is an original follies that tells the tale of a Disney princess' life after she leaves the beast. 

With five famous Broadway and Disney characters vying for her heart on a game show, Director Michael Stewart says the comedy is just what people need.

Credit: Michael Stewart

"Theater is a very very big and important part of our community. We know it provides people with that entertainment that they can't really get anywhere else," Stewart said.

He says they will allow 50 people inside the 170 person theater for each performance. 

"The seating will be socially distanced, we will do temperature checks, we will have the signage asking anyone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, of course, to refrain from entering," he said.

Stewart also says they will have hand sanitizing stations. Masks are encouraged, but not required.

For those who don't feel comfortable going out just yet, there is an online streaming option. You choose the date and time and each ticket has a password with access to the show.

"The most important thing is the safety of our community, absolutely. That is something that I think all of the community theaters in this area can agree on," Stewart said.

He says this time of year, they would usually be gearing up for a large scale, big budget musical.

"Obviously because of COVID-19, we had to scale back and do something on a much smaller scale," he said.

Credit: Michael Stewart

The show will feature Broadway classics, pop hits, and two original songs.

Stewart says live theater provides an escape and he wants to give that to the community in a safe way.

"They still can have that escape and people need that opportunity to laugh and enjoy these performances," he said.

Tickets for the live stream are $15 dollars and to join them in person, it is $22.50. 

Performances begin July 2.

You can visit the Perry Players website for more ticketing information.

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