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4 August 2020
Hello, dear friends.
We want to take a moment to answer some of the questions you may be having about Rome Little Theatre as we continue to navigate these uncertain waters. Thank you to everyone who has sent a kind note, completed our reopening survey, or engaged with us online. We know that your hearts and minds are focused on the health and safety of your loved ones, so knowing that you’ve spared a thought for RLT means the world to us.
How are we preparing for reopening?
As always, the well-being of our patrons and volunteers remains our number one priority. Several weeks ago, we established a Reopening and Preparedness Committee composed of local health experts, key volunteers, and RLT staff and board members. The committee is working diligently to determine when and how we can safely and responsibly welcome folks back into the theater. They have developed comprehensive safety protocols for us to implement to keep our patrons and volunteers safe when we do return.
What is the status of Leading Ladies and Frozen, JR?
When this all started, we were optimistic that we could simply postpone Leading Ladies and Frozen, JR until fall and then open a regular season. What we’ve learned since then is that the greatest risk for Covid-19 transmission remains exposure to respiratory droplets and aerosolization in close quarters. Activities such as singing, dancing, and even projecting increase the risk dramatically, especially to performers and crew members who, unlike audiences, can’t always be socially-distanced and masked. For the safety of our casts and crews, we’ve decided to postpone these two productions until we can stage them safely. The casts and crews have been notified. They know that we are committed to producing their shows when it’s safe to do so, and that when we do, they will have the first right of refusal for their roles. To our season ticket holders and individual ticket holders, we’ll be reaching out to you separately via email about your tickets to Leading Ladies and Frozen, JR.
What will this season look like?
Like our fellow community theatres across the nation, we have had to make many difficult decisions. We believe, however, that our challenges give us an opportunity to reflect and grow. Our guiding principle is that theatre is for everyone and there’s a place for everyone at RLT. To that end, we embrace this uncertain time as an opportunity to explore new ideas, materials, formats, and venues that will allow us to reach, include, and serve even more of our community while keeping everyone safe. We’re working on some exciting projects that we think you will really enjoy. And while we hope to return to a more “normal” season in 2020-2021, we believe that this period of exploration will allow us to test new ideas that will go on to enrich future seasons.
When will we reopen?
To be honest, we can’t be certain, but as soon as we know something, you will, too. We’re analyzing information as it becomes available to us, looking to our reopening committee for guidance, and considering the feedback of our patrons and volunteers. Rest assured, we’re working hard behind the scenes to ensure that this theatre we all love will weather the storm and that we will be ready to roll as soon as it’s safe for our patrons, volunteers, and performers to return.
What work is being done now?
Even though we’re not open, we’re still busy behind the scenes, focusing on work that will position RLT for long term strength and sustainability. Here are just a few of the things, in addition to the reopening preparation, that we’ve been working on over the past few months:
RLT Academy Online. RLT Academy moved online and provided three workshops for young actors this summer, including two productions performed online!
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force. The RLT EDI Task Force was created this summer to help us better serve the people of color in our community and lay a foundation for lasting change. This diverse and passionate group of volunteers is working to identify obstacles and opportunities for growth, and to recommend a strategy to realize that growth. We know we have work to do and we’re committed to doing it.
Updated Bylaws. The Bylaws Committee, composed of Lifetime Members and Board Members, worked for months to update and revise the RLT Bylaws. The revised bylaws were approved by the RLT Membership at the annual meeting in June.
On-Site Costume Shop, Library, and Rehearsal. We reached an agreement with the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation that allowed us to move our costume shop, as well as a library and meeting room, to the DeSoto. When the time comes, we’ll also be discussing rehearsal space within the building.
RLT Playhouse. With the HDTF agreement in place, we were able to sell the RLT Playhouse. We simply weren’t using the space enough to justify the expense, even before the pandemic. Eliminating those expenses and recovering the equity will help us stay financially healthy during this challenging time and beyond.
Special Events. We don’t have details to share, yet, but we’re working on some exciting performances for this fall. Actors and volunteers, please join us for the volunteer chat below!
Volunteer Chat. RLT volunteers are invited to a meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, August 4, at 6:30PM for an update on life at RLT, what we're working on, and opportunities we have coming up.
This is just a little bit of the good news at RLT. We all long to be together again in the theatre and look forward to the day that it’s safe to welcome everyone back. Until then, we’re committed to exploring new ways to bring people together to create, share, laugh, and heal.
Thank you for being a part of the RLT family. ️
P.S. Last, but certainly not least -- a heartfelt thank you to the donors who’ve supported us during this time. Please know that every dollar you spend to support RLT and other local nonprofits and small businesses right now is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
6 June 2020
At RLT Academy, our Summer Workshop is all about working closely together to break down barriers, make new friends, and learn skills collaboratively. After careful consideration of the governor's guidelines and restrictions for summer camps, we've determined that we simply cannot provide the kind of meaningful in-person workshop experience that you've come to value and expect, and we've made the very difficult decision to cancel this year's Summer Workshop.
We held out hope as long as we could, but we didn't want to wait any longer as it takes several weeks to plan and prepare a well-run workshop, and we know that you also need time to make alternative arrangements. Thank you for understanding.
But wait! This doesn't mean that we are not doing summer programming for youth. We are working hard behind the scenes to create some exciting online content and opportunities for young actors (and some for adult actors, too!) So, please stay tuned! We are committed to serving you, even if we have to do it in new and unexpected ways! UPDATE - CHECK OUT OUR ONLINE OFFERINGS HERE!
We hope you understand how difficult this decision was and how much we look forward to seeing our RLT young actors back in the theatre as soon as it's permitted and safe.
10 April 2020
Dear RLT Family,
Rome Little Theatre has been Rome’s community theatre since 1933 and after witnessing the kindness, generosity, and irrepressible spirit of our fellow Romans over the last few weeks, we can’t imagine being more proud to be a part of this community we serve than we are today.
On March 19, we announced that, for the health and safety of our community, we would be suspending the remainder of our season and that we would be back with more information as soon as we were able.
We are pleased to announce that we now have updated information about the remainder of our season’s productions, as well as RLT Academy’s Summer Workshop, and the return of a popular special event in October. Tickets/registration are available now for all of the following events:
RLT Academy’s Summer Workshop, originally scheduled for June 8-12, 2020 has been rescheduled for July 20-24, 2020. Previous registrations have been transferred to the new dates. The early registration discount has been extended to May 15. Register here.
Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies, originally scheduled for May 1-10, 2020, has been rescheduled for September 11-20, 2020. *Previously purchased tickets, including season tickets have been transferred to the new dates. Purchase tickets here.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show with the RLT Shadow Cast is back by popular demand on October 30, 2020. Purchase tickets here.
Frozen JR, originally scheduled for March 20-29, 2020, has been rescheduled for December 4-13, 2020. Please note, to meet the needs of families with small children, our Saturday performances of Frozen JR are now matinees. *Previously purchased tickets, including season tickets, have been transferred to the new dates. Purchase tickets here.
The changing landscape means that we’ve had to revise our plans for next season, but we know you are looking forward to hearing about it as much as we are! Stay tuned -- we are hard at work finalizing the details of an exciting new season at RLT!
*Previously purchased tickets have already been transferred to the new dates on corresponding performances. For example, if you had tickets for opening night, your revised tickets will be for opening night, as well. Within the next week, current ticket holders will receive an email with their updated tickets and instructions for exchanges. Your email will reference your “order” but rest assured you have not been charged for any transfers, nor will you be charged for any exchanges you may need to execute.
Please know that the decision to postpone a production is not an easy one, but the health and safety of our community is our top priority. While we’ve carefully considered all of the information available to us, we know that we are in uncharted territory and our journey is still fraught with uncertainty. We will continue to monitor conditions and will make changes if they become necessary or advisable in order to protect our patrons, volunteers, and artists.
Thank you for your patience and support as we work to ensure that your community theatre thrives for generations to come. We can hardly wait until we can gather again to share the joy of live theatre together. Until then stay safe and hopeful, friends. We’ll see you soon!
If you’re wondering how you can support us during this challenging time:
Purchase Tickets: Tickets are available for all of the rescheduled performances! Follow the links above or visit www.RomeLittleTheatre.com
Purchase a Gift Certificate: Our gift certificates may be ordered and delivered online. Use them for season tickets, academy offerings, or individual tickets. They make a great gift and they never expire! Order one here.
Donate: Though our stage is dark, RLT continues to incur normal overhead expenses and production costs, including royalty payments for upcoming shows. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to RLT today and help us come back stronger than ever. Add a donation to your ticket purchase, or click here to support us with your gift.
19 March 2020
We know the following announcement is not unexpected, but it’s still difficult to write.
Due to the escalating impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and in observance of the recommendations of the CDC and our state and local governments, Rome Little Theatre is suspending the remainder of its 2019-20 season, including performances and rehearsals of Frozen JR and Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies. We are doing everything we can to reschedule these productions, and we’ll make announcements when we have more information. Our RLT Academy Summer Workshop remains as scheduled, but we’ll continue to monitor the situation and reschedule it if necessary. As always, the health and safety of our community is our number one priority.
If you have tickets to an upcoming show, your tickets will be honored on the rescheduled dates; you will receive an email from our box office within the next 2-3 weeks with details on your options. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we deal with this extraordinary situation.
This decision takes not only an emotional toll, but a financial one as well for us and other arts organizations across the country. If you are in a position to turn your ticket purchase into a donation rather than a refund, please know that your gift will help sustain us through this difficult time.
Like you, we are navigating uncharted waters and are having to make difficult decisions, but we assure you that we are committed to serving our community for generations to come. We will be back. We ask that you continue to support Rome Little Theatre as well as other local nonprofits and businesses during these unprecedented times.
We look forward to seeing you at the theater when this is all over. Until then, stay safe and hopeful. We’ll get through this together.
Your friends at Rome Little Theatre