Regina Little Theatre adapts to COVID-19 with online Christmas events

Regina Little Theatre is celebrating their 95th season but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things look a little different. There have been five productions cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Lyn Squires is a board member at the Regina Little Theatre.

“We did have a full season planned for 2020-2021,” She said. “The whole season has been cancelled but we’re still hoping to go ahead with one show but I’m not positive how they’re adapting that.”

She said due to COVID-19, the Regina Little Theatre has developed online events.

The online events include a Kringle Call, where families can pay to have their kids join a Zoom call with Santa, and a Christmas Carol podcast, which is a radio-play podcast written by Devin Melnyk.

“We’ve come up with programs to help both the community to maintain their connection to us,” She said. “As well as actors and volunteers and people behind the scenes to continue doing the work that they do just in different ways.”

Squires said the idea for the Kringle Call came up when a few members on the board thought they could deliver this program due to kids not being able to go and see Santa in malls.

She said when parents are purchasing the tickets, there is a signup form they’re asked to fill out. The signup form asks about the age of the child, what they are interested in and what they want for Christmas to create a really personalized experience for the kids.

Melnyk is a former board member of the Regina Little Theatre. He said he has been a part of the Regina Little Theatre for seven years and when he was approached to make the podcast he was happy to take on the challenge.

He said he had to work very quickly in order to adapt the podcast in time for the holiday season. Melnyk said the process was much different this year.

“Once we actually cast the play we saw everybody’s availability and being as safe as we possibly could we tried to record a few people at a time,” Melnyk said.

Melnyk said the podcast is free on places like Stitcher, iTunes and the Google Play Store and they come out every Wednesday.

Melnyk said he hopes people take the time to listen to the podcast.

“I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Melnyk said. “It is recognizably [the] Christmas Carol but it’s done through my weird point of view and I am very proud of it and I hope you guys enjoy it.”

Squires said if the province announces more restrictions the Regina Little Theatre will have to look into doing filmed versions of their productions and would have to move things online.

“I know personally there have been other theatre companies in Saskatoon that have done some outdoor things,” Squires said. “We don’t have an outdoor facility but that’s not something that I would be ruling out.”

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