Home News Local News The show must go on — a matter of survival

The show must go on — a matter of survival

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RCLT Board Vice President Dan Coleman is seen here with the string art project of the theater. Everyone who buys a ticket gets a string to form the new slogan of the theater: #WeAreCommunity. (Christina Stock Photo)

Roswell Community Little Theatre moves on to next premiere

After an emergency meeting on Oct. 13, the board of directors of the Roswell Community Little Theatre came to the decision to keep with the timing of the premiere of its new play, “10 Ways to Survive Life in Quarantine.”

The meeting was called in after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that, due to the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout New Mexico, renewed public health regulations will go into effect beginning Oct. 16. This includes that mass gatherings of more than five individuals will again be prohibited, which is defined as any public or private gathering, organized event, ceremony, parade, organized amateur contact sport or grouping that brings together individuals in an indoor or outdoor space.

RCLT’s premiere of the play is planned for Oct. 23, so Lynetta Zuber, the play’s director, along with the cast and stage crew, have the hope that until then, the numbers will go down again. However, they are prepared to open with all safety measures in place, including ushers who will guide the audience into the theater and seat them according to the regulations that adhere to church meetings. The theater functions as a church on Sundays with its facility rented out to a local church that doesn’t have a building of its own.

Dan Coleman, vice president of RCLT’s board, said, “The board is going to follow the same safety guidelines as we did previously. Masks, sanitizer and social distancing will all be utilized to ensure the safety of our patrons. While physical health is very important, so is mental health, so we are trying to find a good balance between both.”

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Guy Malone is the newest RCLT board member and performs in the upcoming play. In an interview during rehearsals on Oct. 12, Malone talked about the situation of the theater. “We are low on funds, if you look at it from the summer perspective, it’s part of why we voted. The show must go on — kind of like the Alien City Dragway. We might have to close if we don’t generate the revenue,” he said.

Zuber said the funds are needed for the roof, which is an ongoing struggle because of leaks that have already destroyed some props and couches when it rained. If there is heavy snow in winter, the damage could be even greater.

“We had a very successful fundraiser in the summer to kick off,” Malone said, “and we also had very successful support in the program. (The season program brochure, which is sponsored by individual fans of the theater, businesses and organizations.) We also had a very generous donation at the beginning we hadn’t accounted for, and we had a very successful turnout for the first play (“Francine’s Will” premiered Sept. 9) — roughly 200 — 30-40 seats every night.”

The spirit of the theater community is reflected in the actions and ideas, which includes a string art project sign, prominently displayed in the theater lobby.

“We have a hashtag, which is #WeAreCommunity,” Zuber said. “Every person who buys the ticket gets a string and goes to the sign, and you create the words on the sign with the string. It is to bring all of us back together again. We are family and families have arguments, that’s expected. We try to get back, as well, not only as our own organization, but outside as well. There are disagreements, let’s forget that and let’s come back as community and discuss what we can do to better our community. That’s what we are trying to push as well and do.”

More information on the play itself will be featured in the Vision section of the Roswell Daily Record’s Sunday edition.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.