The Santa Maria Civic Theatre offered a drive-up theater event Sunday, staging five mini shows across the city, to raise money for the community space that has been closed for in-person events since March.
For $25 per car, families and individuals who attended the event were able to drive between the five performances from 1 to 4 p.m., watching either from their cars or sitting outside.
The mini shows featured members of the theater's performing team as well as new members of the community, according to Sally Buchanan, president of the Santa Maria Civic Theatre board of directors.
Among the performances were classic cowboy folk songs by El Camino River Bottom Band, "COVID-edition mini play" by Red Velvet Cake (Pop) War, "Revenge of Seymour" by Lil Shop of Horrors — 2020 Remix, "Songs of the Sorority" by Legally Blonde — Delta Nu Edition, and classic rock-coustic songs by Erin and the Earthquakes.
Shows were staged at the Santa Maria Natural History Museum on McClelland Street, as well as sites along Cabo San Lucas Circle, Raymond Avenue, Monterey Road and Countrywood Drive.
Buchanan said she was happy to see the level of community support at the event.
"Everyone was really generous, and we've got a great community of people here who really enjoy the arts," Buchanan said. "Let's be honest, people are bored and want to see performers, and actors are bored and want to perform."
Tipping was encouraged at the event, with attendees able to tip depending on which performance they liked the most. Red Velvet Cake (Pop) War was declared the winner for receiving the most tips, Buchanan said.
Looking ahead, the Santa Maria Civic Theatre is planning to hold a similar drive-up event at the end of October, with some actors expected to follow a Halloween theme for their performances.
Despite the COVID-19 shutdown that has kept theaters closed for months, the Santa Maria Civic Theatre has continued connecting with the community through "The Show Will Go On," an online series featuring performances by local actors.
New episodes are posted every Friday and Monday on the theater's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thesmct, with the second season of the series having launched Aug. 14.
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