New Hampshire

Inside a NH Theater's Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fight With COVID

“We joke that COVID was built to kill theater,” said the Seacoast Rep's marketing director. “And it really was.”

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, took us behind the scenes as it tried to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic in the spring and summer of 2020.

This scrappy regional theater was one of the first to livestream a musical after the pandemic hit and soon developed even more digital programming, from live music acts to a drag queen's take on "Sesame Street." It had to come up with ways to keep its actors, crew and audience safe and the going on while keeping up social distancing.

Over six weeks, Marketing Director Brian Kelly took us through the theater's journey to make sure the curtain didn't close on their stage this year -- a difficult task when your business is bringing people together indoors at shows that usually demand constant interaction between actors and employees.

“We joke that COVID was built to kill theater,” said Kelly. “And it really was.”

Follow the Seacoast Rep’s journey in the video above and see how their year went from their own point of view, with footage captured by the people that work there.

This story is a part of an NBC project called “Rebound,” which followed six businesses across the country that are trying to stay afloat during a global pandemic. You can see their stories and how they are trying to rebound here.

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