Robidoux Resident Theater brings live theater back to downtown

It's A Wonderful Life, the Musical will open Friday, RRT says Covid-19 precautions will be in place.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 10:37 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Some signs of life are returning to one of the city’s larger venues during Covid-19.

The Robidoux Resident Theater is getting ready to bring it’s Christmas time production of It's a Wonderful Life to the Missouri Theater stage this weekend.

Director Sandy Burg says the task of directing a show during a pandemic has been a challenging one.

"It has not been an easy process," Burg said. "We have not had our entire cast at a single rehearsal until last night."

Another challenge has been keeping the theater busy, many events that would normally draw crowds have been either postponed or cancelled at the theater and Civic Arena nearby.

Chuck Kempf, Director of the St. Joseph Parks Department said Covid regulations drove many away.

"The indoor venues are suffering," He said. "Especially venues that invite large groups of people."

Kempf said though the revenue normally generated from the theater is down significantly, city leaders aren’t letting the curtain fall just yet.

"As long as the city council is willing to subsidize those operations through this difficult time, then I don’t see any long term effect on [the theater]." Kempf said. 

Burg said she was excited to bring theater back to the downtown area. 

"We obviously implemented a lot of safety precautions and put those in place," Burg said. "We’ve reduced our capacity to about a third of the normal capacity."

Robidoux Resident Theater staff are hoping this production can give patrons some sense of normalcy.

"Live theater depends on the energy from the fellow patrons in the audience," Burg said. "We decided Christmas was the perfect time to try a show at the Missouri Theater."

Tickets for the musical are still available through the RRT's website

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