With an end to the COVID-19 pandemic hopefully in sight, the Croswell Opera House is planning to start producing shows again later this year.
Artistic director Jere Righter said the Croswell is “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for a 2021 season, although it will look a little different from the Croswell’s traditional May-through-December Broadway season.
“We’re hoping to move outside as soon as the weather warms up, do several events outdoors over the summer, and then start producing indoors again in the fall,” Righter said.
The summer events will probably be a mix of concerts and theatrical productions, Righter said. Some of them may look similar to the outdoor shows the Croswell produced last summer, although Righter said she hopes attendance will be less restricted.
Titles and locations have yet to be decided, but Righter said she hopes to make an announcement later this month.
If everything goes well with vaccine rollout and most restrictions are lifted by fall, September will bring the Croswell’s first indoor show in a year and a half.
Righter said recent developments, including the federal government’s announcement on Tuesday that two rival pharmaceutical companies will be teaming up to increase vaccine production, make the Croswell optimistic about the chances for a return to normal by late this year. However, she said, all plans are subject to change, and the health of the Croswell’s guests and performers will continue to be the top priority.
“Most of our full-length shows have a pretty big lead time,” she said. “We start rehearsing about two months before opening night, so we need to make sure our cast members can rehearse safely before we go ahead with anything.”
Instead of the Croswell’s usual practice of making tickets for the entire season available several months in advance, tickets for most shows will probably go on sale six to eight weeks before the show date.
The Croswell, a 640-seat historic theater in downtown Adrian, first opened its doors in 1866. It is the oldest theater in Michigan and one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the country.