On March 13, 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.

There have been no performances though, and apparently there will be no performances until some time in 2021. All national tours are cancelled or postponed.

As restrictions currently stand, we cannot hold a gathering for more than 25 people, which eliminates the possibility of a performance at the CAC. Our lobby is closed. We have no tickets to sell.

An empty theatre is very sad, but so is an empty school, an empty stadium or an empty restaurant.

The expression “the show must go on” is too often used to excuse poor planning, frantic behavior and ineptitude.

But sometimes it fits. Since our ancestors gathered in caves to tell stories and draw pictograms on the walls, since the Greeks and Romans filled amphitheaters, since the groundlings filled the Globe and the Three Stooges filled the Capitol Theatre, since the beginning, the arts and culture have drawn us together for celebration, catharsis and community. That isn’t going to stop. The show will go on. We will go on, this wonderful old Community Arts Center, this town, this state, this nation.

We just can’t tell you when.

Yet.