As the state began opening up, school and theaters remained trouble spots. As gathering places for children, schools became flashpoints for local disputes. And as businesses dependent on being able to get patrons to sit close together for extended periods of time, theaters were simply unable to operate safely. Chase Leyner found herself in the unenviable position of working in both areas.
Leyner is the founder and owner of the Hoboken Children’s Theater, which offers performing arts classes to young people and mounts productions from a venue purchased just before COVID-19 shut down all such spaces. For the latest edition of NJBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with Leyner about how she and her staff of professional performers dealt with the untimely shuttering of the theater, her plans for the next few months and how the arts community in general has been hurt by the pandemic.
“It’s terrible,” she said. “Somebody did get work and I had to replace them, which is great. So one person. … I probably won’t lose anybody else to work this summer because there just isn’t that much work for them to get. But I’m pleased when they do get a job – pleased to lose them.”