Even though COVID-19 interrupted An Other Theater Company’s plans for their 2020-2021 season, they’re metaphorically re-opening their doors for the heartwarming Last Train to Nibroc next month! The small company had been working hard to find a way to bring theatre to their community in the safest way possible. After hours of brainstorming, they created a “drive-in theatre” for a live production in a nearby parking lot.
Company members Laura Elise Chapman and Bryce Lloyd Fueston (recent newlyweds in real life) star in the romantic and touching story of May and Raleigh, who meet on a train somewhere west of Chicago in 1940. It’s a classic tale of “will they/won’t they” that spans 3 years and two Kentucky towns. Arlene Hutton’s witty and compassionate script is perfect for all ages and all ideologies.
Patrons have the option of driving their vehicle to the parking lot and tuning in to their car radio for sound, or to purchase an outdoor seat and receive a sanitized personal device for audio. Special steps have been taken to make this experience as safe as possible for actors, crew, patrons, and the community. With COVID numbers rising dramatically in Utah County, An Other Theater Company has put the following strong restrictions in place to ensure the safety of all involved:
- All outdoor seats are at least 10 feet apart, and outdoor patrons will be required to wear masks at all times.
- Patrons are required to remain in their vehicle at all times (there will be no intermission).
- Ushers will be masked and maintain distance.
- All rehearsals and design meetings have been held online, outdoors/masked, or indoors/masked/distanced.
- The actors will dress and mic themselves, with no contact with the technical crew.
- (Note that as the two actors in this production live in the same household, they will not be masked. They will be more than 10 feet away from audience, ushers, and other crew at all times.)
This is the first production under the supervision of AOTC’s new artistic co-director, Shelby Noelle Gist. In July, motivated by the ongoing fight for racial justice, the theater re-examined its leadership and policies, and Kacey Spadafora stepped into a different role to make room for greater inclusivity and diversity in leadership.
While the theatre’s plans for a regular season have had to be adjusted, they are also presenting a panel series online. These panel series are recorded discussions that are then made available to the public on YouTube and on the theater’s website. Previous topics have included “Black in Theatre,” and future sessions will include “Women in Theatre,” “LGBTQ+ in Theater,” “Disabled in Theater,” and “BIPOC in Theater.” An Other Theater Company is also in the process of developing future projects that continue to meet COVID standards, and that touch on the issues of “other-ness” that are so important to their mission.
Last Train to Nibroc runs October 8-10, 15-17, 2020 at 9:00 pm at the parking lot at 21 West 1200 South in Provo (to the east of the Provo Towne Centre Mall).
Tickets are $12-$15 for outdoor distanced seats and $20-$60 per vehicle (depending on number of passengers). Tickets are sold ONLINE ONLY–NO SALES AT THE DOOR. Opening night tickets are pick-your-price, and free tickets are available throughout the run for those who cannot afford them through AOTC’s Play-It-Forward program. For details on this program, or to buy tickets, visit anothertheater.org.