Ed Mirvish Theatres are opening for live performances at full capacity after being shut down since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sue Toth, communications manager for Mirvish theatres, promises an “exciting year ahead” at the CAA Ed Mirvish, CAA Theatre, Princess Of Wales Theatre and Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Shows opening to full capacity include Come From Away, Room, and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. The 50th anniversary of Jesus Christ Superstar kicks off the holiday season on Nov. 30.
Training with COVID-19 safety protocols has already begun for employees and artists. Full vaccination is required to enter theatres to work, and the same will go for patrons.
Guests are also expected to wear a mask or face covering at all times. Contactless payments, sanitization stations, enhanced cleaning measures, and contact tracing will all be COVID-19 prevention strategies.
The theatres opening its doors offers good news for some actors and stage crews.
“It’s been a hard year to get gigs,” said Amber Naujok, who studied theatre performance at Toronto Film School.
“Live theatre is making a comeback, which is great for people wanting to watch,” she said. “But up and coming actors are still going to struggle for roles. I feel the same actors will get the jobs for the next few runs.”
Ed Mirvish was an iconic Torontonian who saved the Royal Alexandra from demolition in 1963. Mirvish was known in the city for running the bargain department store Honest Ed’s at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor Streets.
Afterward, Mirvish rented out the Royal Alexandra to touring productions from London and New York. He then expanded to the other Mirvish theatres for local productions.
Theatre goer Sam Dyer said he is looking forward to the openings, but full capacity is what concerns his family.
“I’m nervous because even with vaccinations, you can still get COVID,” he said. “My grandmother may want to go but she has a compromised immune system. Any space at full capacity makes me worry for her.”