This longtime community theater returns to the stage in 2022.
When COVID-19 hit West Virginia in the middle of March 2020, M.T. Pockets Theatre was halfway through its run of The Lion in Winter. “We did the first weekend, and then we had to close down because of COVID,” says board vice president Nancy Caronia. “We didn’t want to, but we did.”
The theater company didn’t plan a 2021 stage season. Instead, as a creative outlet and to stay connected with the community, they set up at the monthly Arts Walks downtown and performed short versions of Shakespeare plays—which, if you missed them, were a ton of fun.
But for 2022, M.T. Pockets is back, live and on its home stage in Woodburn.
“We decided to start with The Lion in Winter, because we thought it would bring us full circle,” Caronia says. That will run March 4, 5, and 6.
It’s followed by two of the one-act play festivals that make the theater company so dynamic: one at the end of April and beginning of May, directed by Caronia, and a second, in June, directed by Sean Bonnette. “We have one-act contests, and we choose plays that we think will resonate with our audiences,” Caronia says. “These are all new one-acts that no one has ever seen before, so they’re world premieres.”
In July, it’s Shakespeare in the Park, directed by Tracy Lynch. “We’re not going to reveal yet which Shakespeare we’re doing—it’s going to be a surprise.” And in November, the Greek tragedy Bacchae, directed by Kaici Lore.
M.T. Pockets has kept the lights on so far through careful stewardship of grant funding and supporter donations, along with sheer love of the stage. But whether you’re a long-time supporter of community theater or have never given it a try, this season would be a particularly good time to experience the charm.
“Sure, you can go up to Pittsburgh and spend $50 or $60 on a ticket—but you can also drive two minutes and see people on stage who have professional credentials, who are dedicated to their community, who want to bring entertainment to the community,” Caronia says. “You cannot beat that.”
M.T. Pockets is offering subscriptions for the first time this season. Two tickets for all five shows this season is just $150 and $75 for one ticket to every show, savings of $5 per ticket. Consider it—it’s a small investment in a big-hearted community theater.