Their website shows: ‘We’re opening again in July!’ The Eindhoven Parktheater is counting down to its first performance, since it was forced to close its doors. But the new rules didn’t make it any easier.
Yes, there is still reason to be very concerned about the long-term future of performing arts, as long as corona dictates our lives. But at Parktheater they would rather put their accumulated energy into what they can do now: organise performances. Because that is difficult enough, with the ever-changing rules of the game. As of this month, theatres are allowed to admit thirty people. Next month it will be 100. And for the time being, the theatre world is also assuming one and a half metres as a standard size for after that.
From 500 to 100 seats
So a corona-proof theatre has to be hurried out of the ground. This is easier to arrange in the small Philips Hall than in the Great Hall. “The grandstand of the Philips Hall is mobile and we could easily get it out of the room”, Geertje van Geel, from the Marketing department, explains. “We now have sets of two chairs at the required distance from each other. Two metres between the rows and one and a half metres between the sets. We’ll lose four hundred seats, but we’ll soon be able to place the hundred people we’re allowed to invite”.
For the Great Hall, the challenge is greater. Van Geel: “Everything is bolted on there and you can’t just slide chairs around. We have to remove rows of chairs at the same time and add extra aisles to comply with the rules”. When it comes to fitting, measuring and adjusting, the Parktheater pulls up together with other theatres in Brabant, they can learn from each other.
Program full of question marks
Meanwhile, there is a big question mark regarding the program of season ’20-’21. “The brochure for next year had already been printed when we entered the corona period”, Van Geel sighs. “Planning was impossible because the rules were unclear. That’s why we emptied the agenda between September and December. Our programmers will now check with the impresarios to see what and when we can organise from September”. Those who were still in possession of a ticket were asked to keep it with the prospect of a new planning. Tickets for a cancelled event can be exchanged for an alternative performance. “You can also ‘donate’ your ticket to us”, Van Geel adds. “Quite a few people support us that way”.
The reopening of the Parktheater will be on Thursday 9 July with Bier & Liefde (Beer & Love) van de Bende van Oz (of the Gang of Oz), the first performance of the 150 cm Summer Festival. The presale has started.
Translated by: Bob