Understudy campaign offers fun way to support local theatre


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Posted August 21, 2020 | By Lisa McGinnes, Staff Writer

Theatre patrons, are you ready for your closeup? Ocala Civic Theatre (OCT) is offering a unique way to support local live performances for the organization’s 70th anniversary season. They’re calling it “the role of a lifetime—with no audition and no lines to learn.” The role: your smiling face in the audience.

“We miss your face!” OCT Director of Marketing & Promotions Larry Kiernan said in a press release. “Sometimes you need to send in your understudy.”

Because the theatre will sell a limited number of socially distanced seats for this season’s performances, many seats in between will remain open. This innovative “Send in my understudy” campaign offers you a seat for every show—well, your cardboard “understudy,” that is—costumed in your choice of a suit and an “I love OCT” tie or a dress and an “I love OCT” necklace.

The concept is simple: for a $100 donation, you can upload your photograph (or the photo of a loved one, or even a pet!), which will be printed onto a 40” x 16” cardboard cutout to fill an empty seat during performances. There will be opportunities to decorate your cutout for holidays and special occasions, Kiernan said, as well as red carpet photo ops with your cutout at the end-of-the-season party. Your cardboard understudy will then be yours to keep.

“We’ve been preparing for a season of socially distanced seating to provide the safest possible way for everyone to enjoy live theatre together,” Kiernan said. “This is a wonderful way to support the theatre during this unprecedented time. We’d love to see both you and your ‘understudy’ with us for opening night – and all season long!”

For more information, visit www.ocalacivictheatre.com or contact Larry Kiernan at (352) 236-2851 ext. 108 or lkiernan@ocalacivictheatre.com.