SOOP is a ‘GO’ for fall 2020 theater in the park(ing lot)


SOOP Theatre Company is back with a new temporary outdoor space and plans for a next production. Auditions took place last Wednesday and Thursday for “Heathers: The Musical, High School Edition” at 530 Studios, 530 Fifth Ave. There was also an option to submit a online submission.

Due to Covid-19, SOOP Theatre needed an outdoor space for the main stage production of “Heathers.” The Sanborn Map Building parking lot checked all the boxes, according to SOOP Artistic Director Paul Romanello.

“The lot is literally a two minute walk around the corner from our studio (530 Fifth Ave), so it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Romanello. “Also, the folks at SMB couldn’t be more amazing to deal with and are so happy to be a part of this process.”

The live production won’t have an audience but will be filmed and made available via video streaming.

SOOP plans on constructing a temporary stage and canopy tent. It will bring in outdoor safe lighting and sound equipment. The plan for rehearsals and SOOP’s workshop program is to do an indoor and outdoor concept.

In the parking lot, the stage size will be increased so actors can socially distance. The company will open industrial windows/garage door for constant airflow in the indoor rehearsal space. In addition, a limited number of staff and students will be present during staggered hours for all programs.

“We would love to perform this before a live audience,” Romanello said, “but logistically, with the necessary distancing protocols, it just didn’t make any sense—this way, we will be able to offer it out to a much larger and safer crowd.”

Additionally, workshop registration is now open (indoor/outdoor model) and voice/piano (virtual-only for this trimester) still has a few spots available.

The full reopening plan is available on SOOP’s website.