Live theatre was one of the casualties of a COVID-19 world.
With its return, Cascades Theatrical Company in Bend has had to get creative to keep performers safe.
This Friday, they kick off a live show, Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, with an in-person audience.
“There is just a lot of energy, a lot of excitement,” lead actor Alex Daly said. “Everyone is ready to get back on stage and just ready to be doing theatre again.”
It will be Daly’s first performance since the beginning of the pandemic.
“A lot of things that I saw as an actor were people trying to do plays over zoom and things like that, which is admirable,” Daly said. “I love the theatre in any form, but for me it would have been really tough to perform in that way.”
First-time director Rob Flanagan had a vaccine requirement to even audition for the play.
He also had the stage built in his barn to help with social distancing.
“It was nice to be in one spot and not bouncing around to different rehearsal spaces,” said Flanagan. “If you are in different rehearsal places, you are running into different people, spreading germs.”
The stage was then taken down and rebuilt in the theatre.
“They (cast and crew) have been nothing but incredible,” said Flanagan. “We had to push them really hard. We lost two weeks over a vacation, we did this during a pandemic, we had to deal with snow storms. They have met every challenge I set and then some and I am proud as could be.”
Those attending the play must wear a mask, but no vaccination status is required.
The first performance of Murder On The Orient Express starts Friday at 7:30 at Cascades Theatre in Downtown Bend.
Shows will run each weekend through Jan. 30, and tickets are $27 for adults and $25 for seniors and students.
You can purchase tickets for any of the shows here.