BOISE, Idaho — When the pandemic hit, it was curtains closed for many local performers.
Pre-pandemic, seeing live theater was easy: you just grabbed a ticket and found your seat, but COVID-19 changed that. It forced the theater to cancel several shows.
"It's been very upsetting and sad to be missing something we love," said Diana Holdridge, the director of Vintage Hitchcock: A Radio Play.
The Boise Little Theater has been dedicated to supporting the community for decades, and though seats have been empty since last March the stage hasn't been. They've begun offering live-streamed shows instead.
"We were just in the dressing room putting on our makeup and saying 'I can't believe it's been a year since we've sat in these chairs,'" laughed Jeanna Vickery, an actress at the theater.
For the actors, being able to perform again is a breath of fresh air, even if performing looks a little different.
"The first time we were all here and read the whole thing together, it was this nice release, just like 'this is home and this is what we've been missing,'" said Paul Archibeque, an actor at the theater.
There have been some major changes--rehearsal is via zoom up until performance week, and everyone wears masks unless they're actively performing.
After a lot of hard work from the cast and crew, the theater's first play of the year is set to stream Friday and Saturday (Feb. 5 & 6). It promises mystery, thrill, and humor.
"I think an overwhelming sense of fun, a bit of nostalgia," said Aubrielle Holly, an actress in the show. "I think vintage Hitchcock is all about the nostalgia of this time period and his film work which is so much fun."
The show wouldn't be able to go on without broadcast engineer Ellen Fogg. This time last year, the Idahoan was living her dream touring as a broadcast engineer for Disney, but the pandemic tore that from her.
"When you lose that, it's easy to think, 'I'm never going to do that again,'" Fogg said.
Fogg didn't give up. Instead, she came back home and started using her skills to help the show go on--but capturing the magic of live theater has been a challenge.
"I really want to do the best I can to make sure all the love and the passion that went into creating it really genuinely does transfer onto the screen," Fogg said. "From the very beginning a lot had to change, director's choices, actor's choices, so that it will read on a totally different platform."
This show and the live stream gives the theater hope they'll be able to bring light to their community.
"We will get through this," said Darin Vickery, the theater's president. "This theater will get through this as well, so excited about what's going to happen in the next few years."