With uncertainty around COVID-19, the Marshfield Community Theatre made a difficult decision to cancel its "Frozen Jr." production.
The production team has been monitoring the city of Marshfield's ordinance regarding the virus, including its new recommendation for no group meetings over 50 people. That played a role in the decision to cancel the show.
"At first, we thought about doing it virtually," said Sue Esquivel of MCT. "Musical Theatre International, the company we rent our shows from, made it easy for us to do them virtually. By doing it virtually, we would have an audience, but that would still put the cast at risk because we would be all together. With the city's recommendation for no group meetings over 50 people, we couldn’t do that. We have a cast of over 65 people."
Typically, MCT has a children’s show in March and a family show in June. Disney's "Frozen Jr." was ready to take the stage in March, but then it was postponed. Esquivel said they canceled their summer production of "Mamma Mia!" to make room for "Frozen Jr." in July.
"We decided to move 'Frozen Jr.' in July," said Esquivel. "We figured if we pushed it to the summer production, then we could still have it. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out."
MCT's fall production of "Hands on a Hardbody" was postponed, due to uncertainty of COVID-19.
"At this point, we should have already had rehearsals in for the fall production," said Esquivel. "Without revenue from the March and June show, it would be hard to put on a fall show. The revenue loss from both shows meant a hard hit on MCT."
Currently, MCT is looking for a venue to host its haunted house event, which is still scheduled to run in October. Esquivel said they are developing ways to have it in a safe and healthy location.
"We talked to Hillyard Janitorial Supply about ways we could safely have our haunted house," said Esquivel. "Hillyard is a commercial cleaning supply company, which the school district utilizes. They supplied us with sanitizing items needed to clean the location."
To avoid exposure, Esquivel said they would have smaller groups that are related to each other come one at a time into the haunted house. Because they need the event to happen and a different location for it, Esquivel said MCT is asking for support from the community.
"If anyone has an empty building that we can use, then that would be wonderful," said Esquivel. "It takes two months to build the haunted house. It requires a lot of decorating, so if someone has a place we can use, that would really help us move forward."
As a not-for-profit theatre troupe, Esquivel said MCT tries to raise funds to continue providing performance opportunities for the community. With that said, people can donate their ticket purchases for "Frozen Jr." to help MCT. The tickets, however, are refundable. Those interested in helping MCT can contact email@example.com.