Reynolds Performance Hall will operate differently when its 2020 season kicks off this fall.

Currently Amanda Horton, director of Reynolds, is in the preliminary process of writing COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations for operation.

“We don’t know what phase we’re going to be in when we open, for instance, if today we were going to open up and kick off a season, we could only have 50 people in the hall, unless we were to write a proposal to the Arkansas Department of Health asking for a 33% capacity approval,” Horton said. 

If they were to write a proposal, around 400 people would be allowed into the hall at a time. Reynolds’s max capacity is around 1,200.

“This is all planning at this point, nothing is set in stone,” Horton said, “if we can open to full capacity, we will still do things differently.”

The main goal is to reduce touch points. There may no longer be a will call booth, people will either have to print tickets at home, purchase them at the box office, or have them mailed. Tickets will be scanned and not collected unless they won’t scan. Instead of someone handing you a program, there will be stacks of them on a table.   

To try to mitigate gathering in the lobby, entrance times may be staggered, where certain seating sections will have specific times to come in. People will be left out of the lobby until they can be seated, and are required to wear a mask into the building. If you have a fever or are showing symptoms, you will be barred from entering.

If all goes as planned, Reynolds’s 2020-2021 season will kick off on Sept. 29, 2020 with Michelle Norris, Washington Post opinion columnist and the first black woman to host for NPR, as a part of their Distinguished Speakers series.

Other events include Broadway musicals like STOMP, Postmodern Jukebox, which takes songs from today and puts them over 1920’s-style music, and Lucy Loves Desi, the story behind I Love Lucy.  

Reynolds also has a series called the Main Stage EdUCAtion Series, where elementary students are bused in to see a performance.Not only does it give kids an opportunity to visit a college campus, but it also can help them to gain an interest in the arts.

“You’re never too young to become an arts lover, and it’s never too young to plant that seed.We try to get kids into the theatre as early as possible,” Horton said.  

For popular features, they will try to add another showing later in the day so community members can bring their kids. Ticket sales from these events help to fund the program.

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