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Arts & Culture

Porthouse Theatre to Launch 2021 Season in June

Porthouse Theatre
Kent State University
The Porthouse Theatre is getting ready to welcome audiences back, in person and now online as well. The theater is set to launch its 2021 season this June. Last year's season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After last year’s season was scrapped as a result of the pandemic, Kent State’s Porthouse Theatre has announced it is returning to the stage this June for live performances.

COVID-19 means Porthouse’s 2021 season will be unlike any before it. Cast sizes are smaller, crowds will be limited to about 20% capacity, and performances will be streamed online.

Producing Artistic Director Terri Kent said after the uncertainty of last year she’s excited Kent State has given Porthouse the green light to start performing again.

“It’s happened very quickly. So normally we would spend nine months planning to this point. And now I’m trying to do nine months’ worth of work in like three weeks,” Kent said.

That includes holding a first round of virtual auditions for the season’s three musicals: "Quilters," "BKLYN" and "Altar Boyz."

Kent said the outdoor theater normally seats 500 patrons, but it is limiting in-person seating to around 100 this season.

Additional seating will be available in the nearby Thornberry pavilion.

“We can put approximately 60 people in the pavilion. They can hear the show live, and we are going to run a video feed so they can watch it on a huge monitor.”

If state social distancing regulations are relaxed for outdoor venues, Kent said the theater may be able to increase crowd capacity.

The Porthouse Theatre season starts June 18 and runs through mid-August.