Rising North Texas COVID cases threaten fall lineup for live theater

More people are now able to enjoy the arts with even more opportunities on the horizon.

But rising COVID cases across North Texas could threaten to bring down the curtain once again.

"Lucha Teotl" is a production like no other. The Wyly Theater in Dallas was transformed into a professional wrestling ring where Mexican wrestlers tell a story, delivering an interactive, raucous theatrical experience. 

"You can shake the guard rails. You can stomp your feet," explained Lucha Teotl co-writer and co-director Chris Ramirez. "You can let the wrestlers know what you think of them and they will let you know what they think back."

Ramirez says while seating has been reduced to some degree because of COVID, it’s been a sold-out show.

"I can’t express how much my wrestling heart and theater heart is just so warm to see the response," he said.

Across the street at the Winspear, there are preparations for live opera.

The Dallas Opera announced its fall lineup. Tickets are on sale this weekend for the first operatic, fully produced live shows since the fall of 2019.

"Opera lovers are going to love it because they are going to hear the things that are most familiar to them," said The Dallas Opera CEO Ian Derrer. "And we think it will be particularly attractive to newcomers."

But for those who live the arts, seeing COVID cases rise is a scary prospect.

"Does it make me nervous about my career on stage moving into the fall? Absolutely," Ramirez admitted.

Organizers know staying flexible may be the only way to keep the show alive and people in their seats.

"I think a lot of people think it’s a light switch, but it’s not. It’s an evolution," said The Elevator Project Producer David Denson. "So constantly monitoring the situation and then adjusting performance policy in order to keep everybody safe."

"Lucha Teotl" closes this weekend after an incredible run, but other shows will go on in the theater district, including live opera in late October.