LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas is known as the entertainment capital of the world, but that title goes beyond The Strip to community theatres that are trying to get by during the pandemic.
The spotlight on local theatre is dark as southern Nevada theatre groups struggle to stay in business during the pandemic.
“Every company is trying to find its own way to continue and they’ve lost revenue,” said Sarah O’Connell with Eat More Art Vegas.
Creative organizations like “The Playhouse” are struggling financially. The Las Vegas theatrical venue shut the doors five months after opening because of the virus.
“We are relying solely on the kindness of our patrons,” said Benjamin Loewy, owner of The Playhouse. “We are still obligated to pay certain bills and have zero income.”
The COVID-19 closures are impacting theatres from the community to The Strip, but Loewy says the current restrictions miss the mark.
“We are being held to the same standards as 2,000 seat amphitheaters, and that’s something we are struggling to keep up with,” Loewy said.
“Our biggest struggle right now is that we’re invisible to policy makers,” O’Connell said.
To try and persevere, various local theatre groups recently formed the Producers Alliance of Southern Nevada.
“Those who make theatre happen are starting to come together,” said Torrey Russell — founder and artistic director of Broadway in the Hood.
“Our first job is to band together so we can speak with one voice and hopefully get policies tailored to protect the local arts community that is right now overlooked,” O’Connell added.
It is a partnership to aid in the recovery of the performing arts economy.
“We all have things in the works but we need the help of the community,” said local actor Marcus Weiss.
It’s help to make sure the show goes on and COVID-19 is not the final curtain call for local entertainment.