DUNMORE, Pa. — Show boards filled with photos from theater performances line the stairwell entrance of Act Out Theatre Group in Dunmore. Instructors hope that yet another COVID-19 statewide shutdown doesn't close the theater again.
"We're itching to get back in person for our public shows. We do have a pretty decent public following right now, so to not be able to perform for a full house is heart-wrenching," said Dan Pittman, owner and artistic director of Act Out Theatre Group.
When the coronavirus forced the theatre to close back in March, it put staff in a tough financial situation.
"Just because we're closed doesn't mean we don't have to pay our rent because we're in a lease. Every month, we were closed we currently have on our back rent. So currently, we have about eight months," said Pittman.
With few performances and no income, employees were left wondering how they would pay the bills.
So the drama group is calling on the community for help. A GoFundMe page was set up to help pay bills and ensure the future of the Act Out Theatre Group.
Before the theater closed on December 12, the last show put on was "A Christmas Carol." The hope is that one day, a new show will be displayed on the cast wall.
"We weren't expecting the December one because we are following all the rules that have kind of been mandated to us," Pittman said." Masks, temperature checks, all that good stuff, keeping distance, so it's hard when you're told you have to shut down when you are doing everything you're supposed to."
Currently, performers are doing online auditions for "Pippin," their next show scheduled for March.
The artistic director says he hopes that the theater survives this year.