Summer theaters enjoying attendance as uncertain fall approaches

Summer theater.
Summer theater. Source: ERR

The season of summer performances has been quite successful for theaters, who are enjoying the high attendance numbers as uncertainty in the fall approaches.

The ongoing summer performance season has been a good one for theaters. There have been some 80 premiers, ticket sales have been good and weather has also favored outdoor performances. Still, theater organizers have lived in fear of restrictions, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday.

"The theater summer has gone exceptionally well because the weather has favored it. I have not seen anything like this in my lifetime and I am likely not the only one. I have not seen a summer so incredible for theater in my 25 years of doing this," said Emajõe Suveteater creative director Andres Dvinjaninov.

Skene Katus Kunstile board member Kristjan Suits agreed that the summer has been good. "But all organizers have had high blood pressure and have had to think about what will happen tomorrow. Risks have been high throughout the summer," Suits said.

Starting August 2, events that do not check for COVID-19 vaccinations and recovery are limited to 500 spectators indoors and 1,500 outdoors.

While many theaters are beginning to wrap up their summer seasons, rock opera "Johnny" will premier next week at the Tartu Song Festival Grounds. The restrictions set to be imposed soon will not cancel any of the performances, where 3,000 people are expected.

"Since 10,000 people and more fit at the Tartu Song Festival Grounds, we probably have better distancing options than others. /.../ We can divide the 3,000 people into sectors. Either in thousands or by 1,500 so they would not be in contact with each other at all. That is how we will meet the 1,500 attendance limit. However, we are prepared to ask for vaccination passes and also conduct testing, even though it actually means a large additional fee," said "Johnny" producer Mihkel Truman.

In addition to attendance limits, the coronavirus has also made it difficult to prepare stage decorations. "Geotextile and wood has been very difficult to get ahold of and to acquire enough of it required great effort. It has been a problem that you might not think of from the outside," Truman said.

In general, theaters will try and get the most out of this summer season, because peoples' interest for theater is great and the future is largely uncertain.

Kristjan Suits called all those interested in theater to use the last opportunities to see a show, because nobody knows what will happen in the fall.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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