Quincy Roers started Fire Pit Productions in 2016 to show the Alexandria community “edgy, thought provoking stage plays,” according to its website.
The Lakes Area Theatre only seats about 60 people, which presents limited options for social distancing guidelines under COVID-19. Roers has talked to state legislators about outdoor event plans and guidelines, so Fire Pit Productions will run similarly to a drive-in movie theater this summer.
Roers is creating an outdoor theater using donated materials from Hilltop Lumber.
For seating, there will be 12 grids marked off for groups of six people or less to set up lawn chairs and blankets. Each car will be assigned an 8-square-foot section, and every square will be six feet apart, which will allow room for up to 72 people.
In another area, there will be 20-30 parking spaces for those who choose to stay in their vehicles to watch the shows. Spots will be staggered so everyone can see the stage. The microphones will be broadcasted directly into the radios of spectators’ vehicles.
Roers has hundreds of plays in his library that he’s read over the years, and he said he narrows the options down by script quality. When “Harry Clarke” was pulled from the schedule, he needed a different show to fill its place.
Roers will be performing the one-man show, “The Fever,” June 12-13 at 6 p.m. and June 14 at 2 p.m.
“This one is very poignant and very on the nose with what’s going on in society right now,” he said. “The show is about how you come to terms with your entitled life with knowing that other people have to suffer to create that for you.”
Roers hasn’t planned out how social distancing with multiple actors will work yet. The other summer shows, “The Boy” on June 26-27 and “BFF” on Aug. 21-22, will have small casts and take place at the new outdoor venue. If they have a large enough stage, Roers said he should be able to space actors out.
“As a director, I have to get creative with blocking just for their comfort sake and safety protocols,” he said.
All outdoor performances will have free admission, and donation boxes will be available on site. Performance dates and times as well as summaries of the shows are listed on the Fire Pit Productions Facebook page.
“We’re just trying to get some form of entertainment for people in this community to see something,” Roers said.