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Local theater prepares for return to stage

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Posted at 11:07 AM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 19:29:22-04

DE PERE (NBC 26) -- Birder on Broadway is preparing a return to the stage after being closed down for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders at Birder said the pandemic was a difficult time. Executive director Alicia Birder estimates the theater lost around $110,000 of revenue. A federal paycheck protection program loan has run its course. Fundraising in the pandemic has been a challenge. Now, the theater needs to open its doors and have customers return.

“We are finding our way creatively back," Birder said. “It’s just each day, one step at a time, being creative, and seeing what we can do to get our patrons to come back safely.”

There are several safety protocols in place. Seating has been changed to smaller, individual tables. Each table has hand sanitizer on it. When a patron orders a drink, they do so from their phone and a staff member will bring it to the table.

Birder hopes the changes will help people feel comfortable. She said the team misses patrons and the community.

“If you look back at history and any time we’ve had pandemics, anytime war, any type of struggle that countries have had, there’s always a resurgence of entertainment, and people are looking at that," she said. "They need their hearts to sing again, and music does that for us.”

The theaters first musical since opening, Songs For A New World, premiers on July 29.