Performing arts organizations, among the state's first businesses to shut down in March due to the pandemic, will be the last to reopen, arts leaders in Summit County say. Local theater operators report losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last six months but say it's difficult to plan for reopening when no one knows when that can affordably happen.

An order late last month by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine allowing indoor performing arts theaters to run at 15 percent capacity or 300 people, whichever is lower, isn't economically feasible, local groups say. At the Akron Civic Theatre, Executive Director Howard Parr doesn't envision being able to do full-capacity programming that will sustain the historic 2,500-seat theater's substantial production and overhead costs until at least the second quarter of 2021.

"There is no programming model with that capacity that will financially sustain our operation," Parr said.

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