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VIDEO: After a few grim months, Orillia mayor calls for laughs

With new protocols in place, the Orillia Opera House will welcome back live theatre next week; It's important to 'make space' for laughter, mayor says

While city officials continue to urge residents and visitors alike to be vigilant about public health guidelines during the pandemic, the curtain is being raised on a new normal in Orillia.

As part of that "new normal," says Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke, the Orillia Opera House "will start welcoming guests with safety and laughter as top priorities."

Starting Aug. 19, the Opera House will re-open to allow patrons to watch a local, live production of On a First Name Basis, a funny show from the mind of Canadian playwright Norm Foster.

While the mayor stressed the pandemic remains a reality, it's important "to make space for the things that keep us going: the theatre, the arts and, above all, laughter."

Regular theatre-goers should know that there will be many new protocols - including mandatory face covering, new exit and entry rules and other physical distancing measures, which is why the show will be in the larger Gordon Lightfoot Auditorium. That theatre has a 700-seat capacity, but much fewer tickets will be sold.

The mayor noted the Opera House "has seen this community through tough times, including two World Wars, the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu" and will help the community weather the latest storm.

To hear his entire message, click on the link above.