COLORADO SPRINGS — Because of the pandemic, it's likely been more than a year since many people have been to a live concert or show at a theatre. But as restrictions are being lifted and more people are getting vaccinated, some local venues are eagerly welcoming people back.
After a 13-month intermission because of the pandemic, TheatreWorks Colorado Springs will be putting on its first live, in-person production, since the pandemic began.
The production is an Iliad, with one actor and one musician telling Homer's tale of fate and fury through storytelling and live music. The production kicks off next Thursday, May 6 at the Ent Center for the Arts.
100 people will be able to enjoy the show while sitting in chairs on the lawn, socially distanced and masked.
Caitlin Lowans, the producing artistic director for the production told News5, the production was actually supposed to go on last March 2020.
"We had our final dress rehearsal and we were so ready for an audience, and then the next afternoon, before our first performance, we got the call that our work would have to be stopped, so you can imagine how heart broken are artists were," said Lowans.
As COVID-19 restrictions began easing, Lowans and company began brainstorming ways they could bring live performances back. TheatreWorks Colorado Springs professional theatre in southern Colorado to get permission from the actor's union to bring an audience back.
"We began to look toward the summer, as the weather warmed, and we knew that we could explore outdoor productions. We usually have outdoor shows in July and August, but in order to make sure the air flow was excellent, and that the audience felt safe, we decided to bring this production outdoors," said Lowans.
Actors and company staff are tested for COVID-19 one to three times every week. An infection control specialist is also at every rehearsal.
Meanwhile, the stage is also set at The Black Sheep, a music venue off of E. Platte Ave. in Colorado Springs.
"It's been a long road, it's been bumpy, but we're back, and we are going to have live music," said Rosanna Taylor, the venue's marketing manager. "However with restrictions still going on, we're playing it safe, and rolling with the punches and being cautious."
In February, the venue off of East Platte Ave re-opened to the public as a bar, and last weekend, the venue held its first ticketed concert since March 2020.
"There were some tears almost with some of the staff. I just can't believe that we're doing this, we're putting wristbands on people, we're checking ID's, so it's very heartwarming to be together again," said Taylor.
Although capacity restrictions have been lifted in El Paso County, The Black Sheep is opening at only 50% capacity for each show. Some artists are playing two shows in one night, at different times, so more people can attend.
Some concerts at the venue were canceled altogether, while others were postponed to later this year or in 2020. Taylor also mentioned this fall could be the busiest season yet for the venue.
"It's just a normalcy that people have missed, especially people who love live music," said Taylor.
Safety protocols are still in place at both venues. Guests are asked to social distance and keep their masks on while they're watching the performances. Vaccines are not required to attend a show at either of the venues.