TUPELO • After waiting three months because of the pandemic, Tupelo Community Theatre is moving forward with its production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”
The musical comedy, which was scheduled for April, is now set for Aug. 13-15 at the Lyric Theatre. “Spamalot” is the final production of TCT’s 50th season.
With the dates now set, TCT faces the challenges of how to keep the Lyric free from COVID-19 and how to accommodate patrons and season ticket holders before making tickets available to the general public.
”We’re just trying to do everything we need to do to keep everybody safe,” said TCT Executive Director Tom Booth.
TCT has scheduled four performances – 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 13, 14 and 15 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 15. Booth said because of social distancing, seating will be reduced to a third of capacity at the Lyric. The audience will be seated on every other row.
”We seat 477, and we’re hoping we can get roughly 150 in there, but we don’t know,” he said, adding that he’s received help from Fire Chief Thomas Walker, the city’s COVID-19 point of contact, to determine the seating arrangement. “I asked Thomas to come over and we walked and looked it over. After the mayor added the mask order, I got Thomas to give me more information.”
TCT on Friday announced a staggered schedule for patrons and season ticket holders to call the TCT office and claim seats for the performances. Stage Angel, Executive Producer, Producer and Director patrons, in that order, were given first priority.
Star patrons can call today, Friday and Monday, and then all season ticket members can call July 14-17. Call the TCT box office, (662) 844-1935, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to secure the tickets.
Tickets will go on sale to the public at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 20. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 students. The production is PG13.
Booth said additional performances may be added depending on ticket demand.
”We’re spending this week and next week taking care of season ticket holders,” Booth said. “We have to figure that out as early as we can before we sell to the public. We’re willing to do additional shows, but until we know what the demand’s going to be there’s no need to add them.”
Current city regulations require audience members to wear a mask as they enter, exit and anytime they’re not seated. “We’re discouraging moving around unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Booth said.
Live rehearsals, which were suspended when the pandemic reached Mississippi in early March, have resumed. When TCT decided not to cancel “Spamalot,” rehearsals began online through Zoom video conferencing.
”Spamalot” is a stage adaptation of the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
Booth said the cast and crew are wearing masks during rehearsals, but the cast will remove their masks during the performance. The actors will be more than 12 feet from the audience, as mandated by Gov. Tate Reeves in an executive order reopening indoor entertainment venues.