SWITG cancels Summer Kids Theatre Camp due to COVID-19

The Southwest Iowa Theater Group has canceled its Summer Kids Theater Camp.

The camp was scheduled for June 8-12 for students who have completed kindergarten through third grade and June 8-13 for students finished with fourth through eighth grade.

SWITG Board President Jeff Hiser said the theatre board met Tuesday, May 12 and thought about pushing the camp back to later in the summer, but decided cancellation was the best option.

“We decided to cancel it,” said Hiser, “based on not knowing how long we’re going to be in isolation and when we come back to the theater what kind of restrictions we might have.”

The cancellation of the Wabash Arts Camp that was scheduled for late July was another piece of information the SWITG Board considered. They also wondered how many parents would want their kids to go to camp even if restrictions were lifted.

“Our main concern is looking after our patrons, our actors and our kids,” said Hiser.

When asked if they would bring the kids camp back in 2021, Hiser said absolutely.

“It’s a great program,” said Hiser. “It has grown in numbers which shows there is a need for it. We enjoy it too. Some of those kids end up on stage for us.”

There were some kids already signed up. Hiser said those families will receive refunds.

Another reason for the cancellation of the camp is the production of Mamma Mia. The SWITG performance was about two weeks out when Gov. Reynolds made the decision that theaters and many other places must close to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hiser said that production, originally scheduled for March 27-29 and April 3-5 is currently postponed, but will happen at some point.

“As soon as restrictions are lifted and we can get our cast back together,” said Hiser. “We’ll need a couple weeks to brush up. A lot of the main characters have been meeting once a week on Zoom to go through lines and keep them fresh, but we need to work with the music.”

When the theater is allowed to open, Hiser said expanding the number of shows is an option if restrictions limit seating capacity. Show dates will be determined as soon as practices can resume in the theater.

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