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The Williamston Theatre setting the stage to welcome back audiences

The Williamston Theatre
Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 28, 2021

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — Its been 18 months since there has been an audience in the Williamston Theatre, but they're getting ready to raise the curtain on a new season

“Just hearing the sounds of the seats going down and people sitting in the space there’s something very exciting about it,” said co-founder John Lepard.

The Williamston Theatre is getting ready to reopen
The Williamston Theatre is getting ready to reopen

Lepard said they had their first show in 2006 and since then they have been doing a play every month, but that changed when the pandemic hit.

“When it stopped, it was a very sudden strange feeling to not have anything to do with the theater," he said. "So we decided to put some other things together. We put some strolling stories together that you can still find on our website. One is called 'The Fire Tour.' It’s about all of the fires that have happened in Williamston that shaped the town over the years.”

With some off time, the theater has been working on updating the facility by getting rid of obstruction spots and getting new seats.

Updating the the theatre
Updating the the theatre

Tony Caselli, the artistic director, is directing two plays. "This Wonderful Life," which is scheduled for Nov. 18 to Dec. 19, is a one-man retelling of the Frank Capra film "It’s a Wonderful Life," while "Tracy Jones," scheduled for May 19 to June 19, explores the power of human connection.

He said he started production meetings for the first show a couple of weeks ago.

Tony Caselli is the artistic director
Tony Caselli is the artistic director

“At that first production meeting that we had in you know a year and a half all of those faces popped up on the Zoom screen and I got choked up and it was just, 'Oh man, we’re doing this again finally,'” Caselli said.

The lineup for the 2021-2022 season consist of "This Wonderful Life," "9 Parts of Desire," "The Cake," "Tracy Jones" and "The Hat Box."

John Lepard is rehearsing.
John Lepard is rehearsing.

Tickets will go on sale around the end of October.

The theater is requiring audience members to be vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID test and will ask everyone in the building to wear a mask. The only exception is the actors don’t have to wear a mask when they’re on stage.

“We will probably separate people by seats," Lepard said. "What we’re thinking about right now is each group will have its own section and then we won’t sell the seats on either side of them at the moment. And that way we will have a little bit of separation with the audience as well. It’s a very small space.”

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