NORFOLK, Va. – For practically 4 a long time, Hugh Copeland has been the “Hugh” behind Hurrah Gamers, offering group theater round Hampton Roads.
“Individuals take pleasure in being right here,” Copeland instructed Information 3. “It is one of many components individuals transfer to an space – all the arts.”
Seats contained in the Perry Household Theatre in Norfolk’s NEON District could also be empty now, however in a couple of weeks, the Hurrah Players might be welcoming individuals for his or her first indoor public efficiency since March 13, 2020.
“Friday the thirteenth,” Copeland stated.
It was an sudden curtain name for Copeland’s theater firm whereas opening Disney’s “Moana Jr.”
“We had been on stage that night time at 5:15 p.m. getting mic checks, individuals warming up, and somebody got here on stage and stated, ‘I am very sorry. The mayor, the governor have closed the town. There might be no present tonight,’” Copeland stated. “After all, we had been devastated.”
And because the pandemic began, so did questions.
“’What are we going to do? How will we hold going?’” he stated.
Their group turned to livestreaming, outside performances and assist from the Hampton Roads Chamber for federal reduction.
“It was greater than very important,” Copeland stated. “It was the essential component.”
Jim Carroll, Govt Director of the Small Business Development Center for Hampton Roads, has been working with native leisure venues all through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some have been shuttered since March, others have been partially opened,” Carroll instructed Information 3.
These days, he’s been offering information on funds, together with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
Carroll stated it is designed to assist repay some working bills.
“It is an addition to what’s already on the market,” he stated. “For those who lose your staff, you’ve got misplaced your staff, and we’re speaking about leisure venues. These aren’t run-of-the-mill people; these are particular person folks that have sure ability units.”
It is a useful resource Copeland is wanting into.
“It is not paying the bills of even producing the present,” Copeland stated. “What it is doing is making it doable to maintain everyone concerned.”
A useful resource to contemplate, as they put together for his or her subsequent act contained in the partitions of the Perry Household Theatre.
“I am fairly positive we’ll have the power if we had been performing for a full home on the Roper or Sandler Heart,” Copeland stated. “It’s going to remind us what our mission has been: To supply theater for the group that is inexpensive for everyone.”