Central California reacts to state allowing indoor concerts, theater performances

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In a matter of days -- indoor concert venues, performance theaters and convention centers can get back to business.

Local theater veteran, Dan Pessano, managing director of "The Good Company Players," has been waiting in the wings for an entire year for this moment.

"Right now, today at this moment, I'm feeling full forward," he said.

The Good Company Players is partnered with Roger Rocka's Dinner Theater in the Tower District.

Pessano says the latest changes to the states reopening plan have given him and his team a renewed sense of hope.

RELATED: California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances, other private gatherings starting April 15

"There is a lot of direction for events outside, but theater is inside, so this means a huge amount because we can basically start planning," he said.

Under the new guidelines, people must test negative or show proof of full vaccination before attending an indoor event.

In the red tier, which Fresno County is currently in, venues with a capacity of 1,500 or less can open at 10% occupancy.

Venues with a higher capacity can go up to 20%.

Stricter attendance restrictions apply to conventions and conferences with a max indoor capacity of 100 people in the red tier.

Officials with the California Travel Association say this is a step in the right direction, but no where near enough to resume operations.

"Until we get into the thousands and tens of thousands, we're really not going to be able to hire back our employees and we will not be able to open up our convention centers," says Barbara Newton.

Officials with the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center released a strong statement expressing their disappointment in the states reopening plan.

It reads in part, "The guidelines issued today do not help convention or entertainment centers at all and continue to send a misleading message to meeting planners, corporations, entertainment presenters and the like that California is closed for this business indefinitely."

While many agree more needs to be done, Pessano says he longer feels stuck in limbo and can now look towards the future.

"Pessano says performances will resume at Roger Rocka's Dinner Theater late this month, with a single person act.

He's hopeful the county will move into the orange tier so capacity can increase.
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