Manhattan Arts Center holds first show since pandemic


MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Many performing arts venues have been closed for a while, but the Manhattan Arts Center held their first show this weekend since the start of the pandemic.

The performers and crew are simply excited to be back on the stage.

“Broadway is closed, London is closed,” Penny Cullers, the artistic director, said. “I feel really quite positive that live theater is happening again and we’re sort of an early pioneer in that.”

The center has new safety measures in place. The show was designed to keep actors socially distant while still expressing their physical comedy.

‘There’s a lot of really fun things you can do. Like two people kissing they just kiss from across the room,” Cullers said.

They also wear clear masks while performing. As for the opening show, they chose the show Arsenic and Old Lace to reflect the world around us.

“We’ve been going through a lot and to me this show is really cathartic where we can say alright well we can kind of make fun and make a little bit of light of so many serious issues in our life right now,” Drew Smith, an actor in the show, said.

Cullers said the show is a crisis, just the way 2020 can be described. “Sort of a gray that none of us know whether or not we’re gonna be safe.” But she also said they’re pioneers for bringing back live theater.

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