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Theatre group to give first in-person performance since Christmas

Good News with 13

ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) — There are some promising signs of re-opening in the Bluegrass State this weekend: a local arts center theatre group is hosting it’s first in-person performance since the pandemic began.

Interior of the empty Paramount Arts Center, days before the show’s opening weekend. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“The last time the Paramount Players were able to have a show here, we had rehearsed and were at opening night on March 12th for ‘Mamma Mia.’ And we got the word five hours before opening that we had to cancel because of COVID. So really, this is the first Paramount Players show on stage since last Christmas.” 

Melanie Cornelison-Jannotta, artistic director of the Paramount Players

Now, Melanie and her fellow Paramount Players are taking the stage again, and opening to the public with their rendition of ‘The Haunting of Hill House.’

Workers at the Paramount Arts Center get the stage ready for the weekend’s coming show. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

Well, most of the public; there are some restrictions:

“Our seating is at 50% capacity, and all of our seats have been marked off so that there’s a six-foot radius between one seat and the other.” 

Melanie Cornelison-Jannotta, artistic director of the Paramount Players

On top of that, social distancing and masking will be enforced, and they’ve put out hand sanitizing stations, too.

Even with all the restrictions, there’s still plenty of room.

“Even though we can’t have a full capacity show, we’re able to get 400 to 500 people in here and so that’s a great thing.” 

Melanie Cornelison-Jannotta, artistic director of the Paramount Players

The folks who are involved with the show say they’re just excited to see the theatre come back to life.

“I think it’s really nice that we have an area like this where we can give the arts to people, and that we’re still able to do it during this time.” 

Tatum Rooker, member of the Paramount Players
Tatum Rooker, a member of the Paramount Players, helps paint the set ahead of the show’s opening weekend. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“To have the ability to be creative again is really great. And it’s a small cast, there’s only seven of us.”

Annie Johnson, member of the Paramount Players

It just goes to show—even in a pandemic—the show must go on!

For more information about the theatre, show, or tickets, visit this website.

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