COVID-19 Update Aurora Theatre

COVID-19 Update from Aurora Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez and Producing Artistic Director Ann-Carol Pence.

Aurora Theatre

Anthony Rodriguez

Producing Artistic Director

Ann-Carol Pence

Associate Producer

“We were in the middle of a record-breaking On Your Feet engagement when COVID started, but there was no question we had to do our part to help protect the community,” said Aurora Theatre co-founder and producing artistic director Anthony Rodriguez. On March 16, the theater company in Lawrenceville founded in 1996 temporarily closed its doors.

Since then, Aurora Theatre has launched a digital series to showcase talented artists and offer free online activities, such as Cody’s Crafting Corner, Aurora Storytime, and Friday Funday, across multiple platforms. Cyber Stage, a play production series with work designed and adapted for virtual Zoom settings, features professional actors who are alumni of the Aurora Apprentice program.

Aurora Theatre transitioned its summer camps to digital form. Teaching artists hosted sessions for budding actors in grades K-12. All digital campers received a Summer Camp Box, which included goodies and materials for class.

“We have two performance venues and we have cleared seating arrangements in the smaller theater, creating an environment to capture performances on film,” says associate producer Ann-Carol Pence. The prerecorded performances will be offered as a pay-per-view option.

Aurora is talking to local partners about hosting pop-up events in the open air where artists and patrons will feel safe. Beyond programs sparked by the COVID crisis, the company’s strategic plan includes moving forward with making the Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center (LPAC) the company’s soon-to-be expanded home.

“This partnership between a nonprofit arts organization and the city of Lawrenceville will serve as a model for other cities,” Rodriguez says. “We must invest in the foundation of the arts together, so that the arts can continue to serve as the heartbeat of local communities.”