MASON CITY, Iowa - All over the country, live performances have been silenced because of the pandemic. Stebens Children's Theatre is taking the stage and putting on a show with precautions in place.
The play is called Buried Treasure, written and directed by Stebens executive director Tom Ballmer.
"Here you are in the Inventors Club and five boys are members of the club and out this window right here they see a neighbor bury a box," said Ballmer, explaining the plot of the show.
How do you put on a live production in the age of COVID-19? Ballmer has found a way to protect his actors and the audience.
"When we have performances, they're wearing shields so that we can still see their faces and the audience is socially distanced," he said.
The plays will feature smaller casts and actors are arriving in costume so no one is crowded in the dressing room. For Ballmer, the most important thing was to give these kids the chance to do what they love.
"We decided that we'd rather be open and kind of take the financial hit, than be closed. Because we want to keep our thespians working."
Sofia Ahari is an understudy in the production. She plays the part of one of the boys in the Inventor's Club. Being under the lights and in front of an audience is something she enjoys.
"I like being on stage. I've always loved performing and I'm in band and choir," said Ahari.
She was excited she could be on stage this year.
"I was really happy when I found out Stebens was still going to be and I was happy when I found out that we could still do productions."
The play continues on Saturday with a performance at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m. You can get tickets by calling the box office at 641-424-9802.