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NMU’s Forest Roberts Theatre welcoming back live audiences this weekend

Theatre to still have COVID-19 protocols for rehearsals and performances
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The lights are dimmed, and the stage is set. Northern Michigan University’s Forest Roberts Theatre is preparing to hold its first shows with a live audience since late 2019..

Co-Director Bill Digneit says putting on last year’s shows was a “unique challenge” that worked out well.

“I keep calling it a COVID creation,” said Digneit. “Putting our shows virtually allowed us to experience a different artform of radio plays. We actually went back to how things used to be done to kind of find solutions for the COVID scenario.”

As students and faculty get ready to open the curtain, NMU Theatre and Dance Co-Director Jill Grundstrom explains the theatre is following the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s health recommendations.

“If you’re actively rehearsing and actively performing, you can do such unmasked,” she explained. “But, as soon as you are not active in either activity, you are required to put your mask back on.”

As many say in the theatre and entertainment business, the show must go on. And, those with NMU Theatre and Dance are making sure that happens with COVID-19 protocols in place.

“We have hand sanitizing stations backstage, too for the performers and certainly in the dressing rooms,” Grundstrom stated. “We have full bathrooms with sinks and hand soap, so we can really make sure that we’re really trying to just mitigate as much as we possibly can.”

Digneit says everyone is ecstatic to welcome spectators once again.

“Our theatre’s ready to have you sitting in our seats and watching the wonderful art that is being produced this year for all of you,” he said.

The season starts with the CO/LAB COLLECTIVE dance show from September 30th to October 2nd, followed by the world premiere of Above the Timberline from October 15th to October 23rd.

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