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Tampa theater group teams up with JCC, moves the stage outside

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Posted at 2:46 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 20:23:41-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Most theaters that cater to live entertainment have been dark for almost a year now due to the pandemic. However, there is one Tampa theater group that has found a way to rebound during these times of uncertainty.

For the actors of Vivid Theatre Productions, it’s been a long time since they had the chance to do what they love live on stage.

“My last show was online and this is a big step forward I’m really excited about it,” said actor Katie Michaels. “I haven’t been on stage since February of last year so we’re extremely grateful to have this opportunity in general because a lot of opportunities have been taken from us.”

Vivid Theatre Productions director, Drew Eberhard, had been searching throughout the pandemic for a way back, then he discovered the courtyard at the Jewish Community Center on the Cohn Campus.

“I think having the idea of being outside in the air, it warrants a peace of mind, that is good for not only the audience but the actors as well,” said Eberhard.

Ironically the name of the comedic play is “Bad Jews,” which the JCC immediately approved.

“Well I’ve seen it so I was all about it because it's an amazing show,” said JCC executive director Heidi Shimberg.

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The JCC said it’s a perfect partnership because they too were looking to expand their programming in a safe way.

“You realize the assets you have and maybe they weren’t being used before like this plaza had really been more of a casual place where the residents of our assisted living facility can hang out and now we are actually programming it and putting people here under these trees it's just beautiful,” said Shimberg.

Eberhard said it’s one of the more rewarding productions he’s been a part of because everyone from the actors to the audience has been craving it so badly.

“And it allows us to put on great art in a time when we so desperately need it,” said Eberhard.

Opening night is Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. It is also available to be watched online.

For a complete schedule of shows and how to purchase tickets go to