Restrictions are loosening up for performance venues, but many theatres and concert halls are proceeding with caution before inviting audiences back in. The Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem won't be opening its doors just yet but is still being put to good use.
It's been just over a year since the Stevens Center hosted a live performance with a full audience. The theatre has seating for over 1,300.
The University of North Carolina School of The Arts owns the facility and oversees its operation. When the venue closed to the public, it was still used for educational purposes. Class productions were scaled-back in order to maintain social distancing, and students adapted to new ways of working safely.
Wiley Hausam is the Director of Performance Facilities at UNCSA.
“The Stevens Center is kind of perfect in that sense, 'cause the stage is so large, and the auditorium is so large, that we could kind of use the stage as a live-streaming studio, or to video record things that could be broadcast later,” he says.
He estimates it will be fall before they start bringing in small audiences.
A bipartisan bill was recently submitted in the State House, asking for $42 million to make renovations and repairs to the Stevens Center.