The executive director of the Goodwill Theatre and Shore Family Firehouse Stage, Naima Kradjian is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up.

The arts have been some of the hardest hit areas of the pandemic and the theaters in Johnson City are no exception.

WNBF News/ Roger Neel Photo

Kradjian, who has been working tirelessly for several decades to promote performing arts in the region and restore the historic Goodwill Theatre, relays the heartbreaking decision to lay off some staff as the pandemic canceled a whole slate of performances ranging from Cabaret shows to comedy acts.

While performances have been continuing online, the theaters still face the challenge of being able to provide entertainment and educational programs while being able to pay the bills.

One of the pivots Kradjian has pulled off involves the purchase of a big tent that will host shows this summer while keeping audiences safe, comfortable in gathering together and sheltered from the weather.  Other performing companies are already requesting to be able to borrow the moveable theater, opening up the potential for more live shows to return to the Southern Tier in upcoming weeks.

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Another intriguing event coming up is a comedy show with Jen Kober (The Middle, The Purge, Curb Your Enthusiasm) that the audience can register their screen, keep mute off during the show and actually share their laughter with the rest of the audience and Kober!

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage and Goodwill Theatre websites are now separate for easier navagation according to Kradjian.  You can learn more about the Firehouse Stage (actually a former Johnson City fire house) at firehousestage.org and the historic Goodwill Theatre at goodwilltheatre.org.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 6 a.m. on 98.1 The Hawk.

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