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Live Theater Will Return to DC This Month

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On April 22, GALA Hispanic Theater will open Tía Julia y el escribidor, Caridad Svich’s stage adaptation of Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel of the same name. This appears to be the first production Washington-area audiences can attend in person since the pandemic slammed the door on live performances last year.

GALA plans numerous precautions, including limiting the audience to 50 per performance and seating patrons six seats apart, and says a new air-filtration system will replace the theater’s air six times an hour. The show will run to May 9.

The coronavirus pandemic has absolutely battered the DC area theater scene. While most companies have adapted with virtual performances and other ways to stay connected to fans during the past year, theater professionals have been hit pretty hard as well. TheatreWashington, the umbrella organization that puts on the Helen Hayes Awards and supports Washington theaters, has raised more than half a million dollars to help  actors, stage managers, directors, and others, and hopes to raise $1 million by the end of the year.

It looks as if there may be more live theater starting next month: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that theaters will be allowed to host seated audiences at 25 percent capacity beginning May 1.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.