Delta variant prompts NextStop Theatre to draw the curtain on some shows

Elisa Rosman of NextStop Theatre Co. (Photo via NextStop Theatre Co.)

After reopening its doors for the first indoor production during the pandemic in August, Herndon’s NextStop Theatre Company plans to scale back its programming schedule for this fall due to risks posed by the Delta variant of COVID-19.

The theatre company will postpone two of its three planned productions due to a resurgence of cases in the area. Producing artist director Evan Hoffmann noted that the company is balancing the objectives of reviving live theatre in the Dulles Corridor while protecting the health and safety of the community.

“We were devastated to have to make the difficult decision to postpone our original plans for this Fall. Like so many others, we truly believed that our community was turning the page on Covid and ready to get back to normal,” Hoffman wrote in a statement. “But the health and safety of our community remains our highest priority and we will not compromise on that commitment. We remain ready and eager to return to full-scale productions when conditions seem right. But in the meantime, we are excited to have created a path forward that makes live theater possible and keeps safety at the forefront.”

NextStop plans to present four new and smaller productions. Next week, “A Familiar Melody” revives nearly two dozen songs from popular Broadway and movie musicals. The production will run on weekends from Oct. 1 through Oct. 17.

Descriptions of each show, as provided by NextStop, are below:

Just in time for Halloween, NextStop will stage The Turn of the Screw. Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the story by Henry James, this classic ghost story depicts the trials of a young governess, haunted by ghosts while caring for two orphaned children on a remote estate in the English countryside. This innovative adaptation is a spine-tingling, tour de force for two actors and will be directed by Christopher Richardson. The Turn of the Screw will run weekends from October 22 through November 7, 2021.

In November, the laughs will return to NextStop with the hilarious, one-woman comedy Fully Committed by Becky Mode. This devastatingly funny show follows a day in the life of Samantha, an out-of-work actress who works the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s number-one restaurant. Coercion, threats, bribes, histrionics–a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing in their zeal to land a prime reservation or the right table. NextStop favorite Jaclyn Young (Crimes of the Heart, The Wedding Singer, The Sidekick’ Cabaret) will take on forty roles in less than eighty minutes, under the direction of Jennifer Redford. Fully Committed will have a limited, two weekend run from November 12-21, 2021.

Finally in December, NextStop will celebrate the holiday season with Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) by John K. Alvarez, Michael Carleton, and James FitzGerald. In the tradition of NextStop’s hit production of 45 Plays For 45 Presidents, this fast, furious, and slightly irreverent look at holiday classics and traditions puts three performers to the test. Santa Claus, Rudolph, the Grinch, and just about every other seasonal character you can think of make an appearance in this racy comedy that will have you laughing all the way to the New Year! Producing Artistic Director Evan Hoffmann will direct. Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) will run weekends from December 3-19, 2021.

Performers will remain at least six feet from the audience at all times and each production will run for between 75 to 90 minutes in order to avoid the need for an intermission.

All attendees are required to wear a mask while in the building and provide proof of vaccination. A nearly 50 percent reduction in capacity will also be enforced.

Full refunds will be provided if a show is canceled or if attendees are uncomfortable with attending a live performance.

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