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Some Jacksonville theatres returning to in-person performances

Theatre Jacksonville and All Beaches Experimental Theatre had their first in person show since they temporarily closed for over a year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — One Jacksonville theatre is returning to in-person shows after being closed for over 18 months.

Theatre Jacksonville located in San Marco temporarily closed March of 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday was it's first in person show of the year titled 'Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?' 

“It’s like rising up from the ashes, and you have to start getting used to people again and last night we had first audience, and it was very cheerful for a lot of us," said Sarah Boone, Executive Director of Theatre Jacksonville.

The All Beaches Experimental Theatre has a similar story. They also had their first in-person show Friday.

“We were closed for 18 months, and we weren’t able to do anything," said Lee Hamby, managing artistic director of ABET.

Hamby says because of their previous location being too small it wasn’t helpful to make folks comfortable, but now they have a bigger facility where they host shows at the Foundation Academy.

“This is a huge difference in the foundation academy, it seats up to 208 but we’re only go to sell 100 tickets," said Hamby. 

Both Theatre Jacksonville and ABET are following CDC protocols like encouraging people to wear a mask and social distance.

Shalika Katugaha, System Medical Director of Infectious Disease at Baptist Health says they are seeing a decrease in COVID cases in Jacksonville and while attending shows there are ways to stay protected.

“I get asked all the time whether or not to go to events and really there isn’t a right answer for everyone so if you are going out stay safe, social distance, wear a mask, and stay healthy," said Katugaha.