TNP’s Motto For 2021: Safety First!
It’s no secret that across the globe the performing arts took a massive hit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent roll out of vaccines and the hope of resuming a sense of normalcy has theatre lovers eager to return to their favorite performing arts venues and get lost in the world of live theatre again.
There seems to be no universal “how-to” guide on the best way to safely move forward with the reopening of live venues, but here in Naples, The Naples Players left nothing to chance when it came to facility health and safety in anticipation for a reopening in April.
Through multiple surveys during the pandemic, the leadership at TNP determined that moving ahead with their planned season in September 2020 would not be the correct move. Resident patrons expressed some hesitation in returning to a full theater, snowbirds responded with uncertainty about their plans to return to Southwest Florida for the winter, and the cost of producing a full-scale show only to safely sell less than a third of the seats in the theater would mean operating at a loss for the non-profit theatre. So, the difficult decision was made to postpone the season and replace it with a number of outdoor events in 2020.
The Naples Players didn’t vacate their iconic theatre on 5th Avenue South though — they took advantage of the downtime to fully revamp a number of facility features to ensure that when their doors opened again, they would remain open.
The addition of two new air filtration systems work around-the-clock to attract, trap, and eliminate airborne and surface bacteria and viruses. Every cubic inch of air circulates through both systems to produce fully purified air.
Starting in Summer 2020, the theatre also began applications of Belfor BioProtectTM, a state-of-the-art residual surface protectant that lasts upwards of 90 days on all surfaces and destroys 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungi.
“How to protect our theater and our patrons was not a decision made lightly,” said CEO and Executive Artistic Director Bryce Alexander. “We chose the best possible products and facility upgrades to ensure that our staff, volunteers, and patrons can feel safe coming back and will focus on enjoying the show.”
In addition to a fully revamped facility health and safety plan, TNP has also taken additional measures, such as providing e-tickets, and virtual playbills, to reduce unnecessary contact.
As springtime approaches, The Naples Players continue to press forward with the anticipation of reopening in late April with a full-scale production of Calendar Girls, a rousing and risqué comedy with a strong female cast based on true events. The feel good show about a group of ladies who come together to raise funds for charity by posing nude in a calendar is the perfect mix of reality and light-hearted fun that our community can enjoy.
In anticipation for the show, The Naples Players partnered with 11 other local non-profits to do their own version of a fundraising calendar this past holiday season that supported the Community Foundation of Collier County and a shared community need to address food insecurity.
For now, the only thing left to do is spread the word that theatre is safely returning to the heart of downtown Naples in April. Tickets for Calendar Girls and the entire 2021-2022 season are already on sale at NaplesPlayers.org or by calling the TNP Box Office at (239) 263-7990. See you at the theater in April!
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