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Cumberland County Playhouse Feeling Renewed Sense Of Energy For 2022 Season

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland County Playhouse Feeling Renewed Sense Of Energy For 2022 Season

Cumberland County Playhouse feeling a resurgence of energy as they head into their 2022 season.

Producing Director Bryce McDonald said that after two years of the pandemic affecting the business, things are beginning to feel normal again.

“There is a huge excitement in the entire building,” McDonald said. “It’s very infectious to walk in the building and hear music again and hear people performing, and people laughing, and people just happy to be back. I can’t wait until tomorrow night to have our first audience in 2022, so it’s just very exciting to me.”

McDonald said that COVID greatly impacted Cumberland County Playhouse’s operations. He said that the organization went from being one of the top attractions in the county, seeing some 87,000 to 90,000 visitors yearly to just 48,000.

McDonald said that COVID has also changed the way they stage shows. He said that it’s difficult to block scenes where actors need to be close when they’re wearing masks and it puts their health at risk. He said that luckily, that process has slowly returned to pre-COVID.

“On a global outlook, my biggest thing about theatre is that even people who don’t know it or think that theatre is important, we as a human race need people to share an experience with,” McDonald said. “And theatre provides that, concerts provide that any live experience provides that, even church if you think about it. You’re sitting in a shared space and at the same time whatever you saw or heard or witnessed on stage caused you to have a reaction, that more than likely 70 percent in the room have. That collective sigh or cry or applause, those things are life-changing and when you are isolated and no longer have that experience, and you don’t feel like you have a voice, you don’t know if your story is being told, it really starts from a mental stand point to affect us.”

McDonald said that they view this season as mostly returning to normal. He said that it will operate in phases, starting with precautions and gradually lifting them as they feel more comfortable.


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