Theatre Lawrence continues safe-distancing summer shows

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Theatre Lawrence is continuing its Summer Series of outdoor shows, which premiered last summer as a safer alternative to indoor shows during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next couple of months will feature a variety of outdoor evening events ranging from film showings to a drag show on Theatre Lawrence’s lawn.

Last year, the series began as a drive-in event and expanded to socially distanced pod seating by the end of the summer. That continues as this year, seating for each event must be reserved in pods of two or four people to maintain social distancing.

“It gives people more freedom and yet a lot of safety,” Theatre Lawrence Executive Director Mary Doveton said. “It’s all completely open and you’re far enough away from people that you’ve got your own private little world there and yet you’re part of the greater whole.”

July shows kick off this Friday and Saturday with 9 p.m. screenings of “The Goonies” projected onto the east side of the building, which is at 4660 Bauer Farm Drive.

The following weekend will feature a number of local drag performers alongside 2020’s Miss Gay Kansas United States winner Deja Brooks performing “Deja’s Extra Fabulous Outdoor Drag Show” at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 10.

At 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17, the Theatre Lawrence outdoor stage will feature a performance of “Leaving Iowa,” a play centered on a man’s drive down memory lane as he relives the ups and downs of his family’s road trips. The play will be performed again the following week on July 23 and 24. 

Next up is a singalong screening of “Grease” at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 30 and 31.

August’s lineup begins with a Lawrence Opera Theatre performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” set for Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 5–8. 

That will be followed by a youth production of Disney’s “Aristocats” on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and 14, presented by The Penguin Project, a yearly production that casts youth from ages 10-21 with disabilities. 

The Summer Series concludes with a screening of “Beetlejuice” at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20 and 21.

“It’s just a heck of a lot of fun,” Doveton said. “It’s just lovely to be able to come on a summer night, set up a lawn chair, watch the last of the sunset and you’ve got great entertainment.” 

For more information and to get tickets, visit Theatre Lawrence’s website.

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