The return of community theater deserves our support | Editorials

The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center was on track to gain a foothold in north central West Virginia before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, silencing thousands of theaters, concert halls and sporting events across the country.

Now that we dance with the virus and seek to restore some sense of normalcy, sporting events, theaters and live performances are making a comeback.

The Robinson Grand is among those who strive to return to their old level of service by delivering the best of entertainment, whether it be concerts, dance recitals or civic events.

Practicing the latest CDC protocols, including masks, social distancing, and sanitization, the theater has done well in bringing back some of the events we’ve long been awaiting.

This week, the Performing Arts Center merged these three activities – music, dance and civic engagement – with the return of live community theater through its presentation at the Robinson Grand Community Theater of “The Addams Family Musical”.

Although the cast and crew of more than 50 residents of north-central West Virginia performed shows for schoolchildren starting Monday, Friday was the opening night for mainstream performances, with shows remaining. at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Early reviews say the show is wonderful, with the talents of Maryn Seamon as Wednesday, Brandon Leroy as Gomez and Marissa Bailey as Morticia leading an impressive array of adult and child actors.

It’s not an easy show, with a large cast, several challenging production numbers, and some technicalities needed to present the true Addams Family experience.

From all the testimony we’ve heard and seen, those involved have made a top-notch production of a popular Broadway adaptation of an even more popular TV show that has also been relaunched for the big screen.

While we encourage residents to support the show just for its entertainment value, we also think it’s important to stress that the return of live theater and a successful arts program is more than a few hours of smiles and laughter. – although we can certainly use it too.

We firmly believe that a quality artistic program and performance venue are essential to increase the region’s economic development efforts and, in turn, attract more people to the Mountain State.

Quality of life events, along with the ability to find this entertainment close to home, help attract businesses while adding value to those already there.

We hope this weekend’s shows are the return to normal that so many people crave, and that they stimulate more community theater and more shows at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in the months to come.

And we applaud the expertise of Arts Center Executive Director Ryan Tolley, CEO and extraordinary community theater expert Emily Moore, staff, cast and crew for their efforts.

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