On March 13, 2020, the Community Arts Center officially went dark. The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra cancelled their rehearsal and their performance that Saturday night. Sanitizer stations went unused in the lobby, while music stands and the piano were left on stage.

They were there for two months.

Finally they were moved off stage, not for a performance, but for a long scheduled replacement of the stage floor. A rigging inspection followed as did cleaning of the basement and replacement of the roof and the stage HVAC.

There have been a few performances since then, but all national tours were cancelled or postponed months ago.

But there is hope. On April 4, restrictions in Pennsylvania allowed us to do performances at 75% socially distanced. On June 1, 2021, we can go to full capacity but we will have to wear masks.

Until then we are at 75% capacity socially distanced.

Still doing even this requires cooperation from both patrons and performers. As per the Governor’s restrictions and the policies of the Pennsylvania College of Technology, masks will be required upon entry (no exceptions) and worn while seated. Seating will be spaced to allow social distancing. Patrons will be asked to sit in small groups in every other row. Temperature checks will be required at entry. People with a fever will not be allowed entry. Stagehands will take temperature checks. Performers will be distanced from the audience. Sanitization stations will abound.

But it’s what we have right now. Next month it will change.

And it is really all about you. The last thing the Community Arts Center wants, the last thing performers want, the last thing our Volunteer ushers want, the last thing the Box Office wants, the last thing the stagehands want, is for the Community Arts Center to make anyone sick, much less become the site of a superspreader event.

So we soldier on together as we have been soldiered on for 15 months.

Perhaps we’re almost out of the long tunnel.