When the pandemic finally hit the Texas Panhandle last spring, the Amarillo Little Theatre was two weeks from opening night for a stage production of “Anne of Green Gables.” Academy Director Jason Crespin says he and his colleagues had to quickly figure out how to keep operations going at one of the oldest continually running theaters in the United States. Crespin, along with Managing Artistic Director Allen Shankles, decided what could be done safely was to bring in performers, require them to wear face masks and check their temperatures, then film the production like a movie with a small live audience.
ALT also brought dance classes to its academy students during the pandemic, through streaming services like Facebook Live.
When the theater eventually reopened for in-person performances, Shankles says staff was “unapologetic” about its safety protocols.
Both are now looking ahead to the theater’s 94th season, and Crespin expects it to be the “biggest and brightest” yet.
“We thought we would maybe be off for, you know, two or three more weeks, and then it turned to two or three more months.” – Jason Crespin