The performing arts industry has been greatly impacted by the pandemic, but with new state guidance allowing modified outdoor performances, actors and musicians now look to make a comeback on the Central Coast.
Operas, symphonies, and theaters had to close their doors to audiences nearly a year ago.
"We have had a rough ride this last year. We had to close about $350,000 dollars of our programming that would have been reinvested in our community," said Artistic Director of Opera San Luis Obispo, Brian Asher Alhadeff.
Amid strict closures, local groups switched gears and are now performing online.
"I think the important point for us is to remain relevant and impactful to our audience, to let them know the arts are still here and the arts are changing as we are changing. So we are excited about releasing an entirely virtual version of an opera on March 20th," says Alhadeff.
The SLO Repertory Theatre also created a digital show to stay connected with their audience that airs on YouTube once a week.
Now there is a silver lining for the industry, coming from a change in guidance from the state.
On April 1st, with modifications and limited capacity, theater, music, dance, and other performing arts will be able to entertain live audiences once more.
"On Friday we got word from the state that there is a new guideline that allows for a limited number of audience to attend outdoor performances; in the red tier that would allow for up to 100 attendees," said Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Anna James Miller.
SLO Repertory Theatre Communications and Development representative, Patty Thayer, says she is excited at the prospect of live theater returning to the Central Coast.
"It's a way to come together as a community, be challenged, be inspired, be entertained, and we've missed it. We look forward to seeing (guests) again very soon," said Thayer.