More than three months after they were forced to close their doors to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, a North Texas theater is set to resume live performances on Friday night.
The Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square is believed to be the first theater company in the region to resume live performances.
“I’m ready to open, but more importantly we know we have to do it right,” said Christie M. Howard, Managing Director of Jubilee. “We will really kind of set the stage and the standard for what theater will be in the Metroplex going forward, so we gotta hit this one out of the ballpark.”
In preparation for the return to live performances, the staff at Jubilee has put several safety measures into place. Every other seat in the theater has been marked off to enforce social distancing. Plexiglass barriers have been installed in the lobby to separate the ticket booth and concession stand from the general public. All tickets are presold online. Patrons will be provided with face masks, hand sanitizer, and must submit to a temperature check before being allowed into the theater.
The twice-delayed return to production of the gospel musical “How I Got Over,” originally set to debut on March 20, comes on a significant date for Jubilee – June 19th is the company’s 39th anniversary of operation.
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Jubilee’s mission is “to create and produce theatrical works that give voice to the African-American experience,” according to its website.
And Friday, June 19th is also Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the anniversary of the date a Union Army general informed slaves in Galveston of their freedom, two years after signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“How I Got Over” is set during the Civil Rights-era, which Howard believes has significance to the current mood and social conversation happening today.
“It’s just a really uplifting piece. It couldn’t come at a better time with the world in such unrest, and public health issues and the pandemic,” Howard said. “It is really an encouraging work, so we are very happy to be able to share that with the public.”