The show goes on at Oakhurst's Golden Chain Theatre with outdoor show

The stage is coming alive at the Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst.
OAKHURST, Calif. (KFSN) -- The stage is coming alive at the Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst.

"This year, we are providing a drive-in melodrama kind of like the old drive-in movie theaters. We converted our parking lot into a drive-in type of venue, and we built an outdoor stage," said James Mierkey, Golden Chain Theatre musical director.

Mierkey says the theater is bringing back its summer melodrama with a production of Little Orphan Annie but doing it drive-in style.

Each car gets its own roped-off spot and tunes into an FM station to hear the production.

"The key about the melodrama is that it's interactive, you know, so people are booing and hissing at the villain, and people are cheering for the hero, and it's just a ton of fun for families," Mierkey said.

Actors say they're happy to get back on stage with others. They enjoy performing for a live audience.

"Outside theater presents quite a few challenges, but it's also exciting because you never know quite what's going to happen," said actor Michael Van Buren.

The organization has had to be creative throughout the pandemic to stay alive. Mountain residents and theater supporters donated and watched shows online to keep it going.

This year, they wanted their legacy of doing summer melodramas to continue going after 54 years.

Organizers say they couldn't do it without the community.

"It's incredibly special we've got a wonderful group of patrons that support the theater. And it's almost been like a homecoming, you know, these past couple of weekends because we're seeing all of our familiar faces all of our friends that have come to all of our shows and it's just been so rewarding," Mierkey said.

The show runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from now until August 1.

The cost is $35 per car.

Organizers say in the future, they plan to put on Mary Poppins in-person this fall.

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