Hickory – When Eric Seale first interviewed to be the new Artistic Director of the Hickory Community Theatre, back in February, he was definitely expecting something different than what was to happen. By the time he moved to Hickory, in June, the world was a different place and live theatre was facing significant challenges.

It’s now been over six months since public gatherings have been curtailed and he has been instrumental in developing and implementing a plan to keep live theatre alive in Hickory by going virtual. His first production, the musical spoof Disenchanted opens on Friday, October 16, live streaming online.

Seale has faced a real learning curve, adapting theatre for the virtual world while preserving as much as possible of the live theatre experience. For Disenchanted this means coordinating remote feeds from eight actors living in four different states into a cohesive show and repeating that feat for six unique performances.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “For a while there, every time I thought I had it figured out something would change. Everyone who’s doing this is learning as they go along and the technology continues to evolve. But we’re getting there and all of the actors and creative team have been terrific at keeping up with the changes. I’m really proud of everyone and this is going to be a great show.”

Performances of Disenchanted are Fri/Sat, Oct 16, 17, 23 & 24 at 7:30; Sun, Oct 18 at 2:30; and Thu, Oct 22 at 7:30. Tickets are $12 for individuals and $24 for families of two or more. Tickets go on sale on October 5 at www.hickorytheatre.org. Season subscribers may reserve by calling the Theatre box office at 828-328-2283 or email Christine@hickorytheatre.org.

Disenchanted is the first production in the Theatre’s 2020-2021 Season. Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress are the season sponsors, underwriting for the live streaming is provided by Corning. This production is produced by Alex Lee, Inc. Hickory Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

PHOTO: The production studio at the Hickory Community Theatre is ready for its first streaming production, Disenchanted, presented online October 16-24 by the Hickory Community Theatre. Visit hickorytheatre.org for tickets and showtimes.