Cumberland County Playhouse CEO Bryce McDonald said the organization has lost over one million dollars in revenue this year.
McDonald said losing the spring and summer play season due to the pandemic was a critical financial hit.
“The impact is still huge, and it is not over,” McDonald said. “Not until we are fully able to go back to capacity, will we truly know the effects of what we lost.”
McDonald said yearly operations cost just over two million dollars. The playhouse is searching for new revenue streams to help reach that mark.
“Part of the struggle is trying to find ways to keep that up and to find new revenue streams to try and help make up those ends,” McDonald said. “We have been very blessed with donors and patrons and sponsors who continually reach out to us and to hep us.”
Even though finances have been an issue, attendance has not. McDonald said limited performances have consistently sold out.
“We have seen anywhere between 30 to 60 patrons coming to our outdoor venue to see Smoke on the Mountain and Flat Stanley and some free concerts we have offered,”McDonald said. “We have been seeing a consistent 90 to 100 in our main stage.”
McDonald said the playhouse has added 13 indoor performances for Elvis Has Left the Building lasting into October to satisfy demand. McDonald said seeing full houses for indoor performances was a relief.
“We have been breathing a sigh of relief that we are seeing things at capacity,” McDonald said. “Going from having no work whatsoever and doing no productions to seeing 100 people back in the theater and hearing that laughter and hearing that applause has been very very fulfilling.”
McDonald said indoor performances have no ticket or program exchanges. Mask wearing is encouraged and social distancing is practiced in the theater. McDonald said patrons have expressed that they feel safe while inside the auditorium.
“The response has been very positive,” McDonald said. “We have had a lot of people who have been kind enough to write letters back to us or just say things about I felt very safe in the audience. Thank you for social distancing.”
The Cumberland County Playhouse currently has Smoke on the Mountain running outdoors until October 4th. On the main stage, Elvis Has Left the Building and opening October 9th in the adventure theater is the new Alabama Story. For tickets, contact the box office at (931)-484-5000.