Photo provided
                                Pianist Sheila Weidendorf practices a set on the newly renovated Zech Patio at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. The venue has announced plans for summer performances. See page 9 for more on this story.

Photo provided Pianist Sheila Weidendorf practices a set on the newly renovated Zech Patio at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. The venue has announced plans for summer performances. See page 9 for more on this story.

WICA reveals plans for summer programming

Summer entertainment outside of the home might be hard to come by these days, but a South Whidbey arts organization will be hosting a series of performances, all taking place outdoors.

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley is inviting the community to a newly finished Zech Patio to experience local music, improv and theater.

Executive Director Verna Everitt said the patio has been outfitted with new infrastructure just for the summer series, including cables and lighting.

Opening night shows on June 27 already sold out.

Because each performance is only allowed to have a maximum of 50 people, Everitt said she is encouraging people to buy tickets online in advance rather than waiting until the day of the show to make their purchase.

“You can tell that the community is absolutely hungry to be out again and socializing,” Everitt said.

As with many venues, the audience is expected to follow social distancing guidelines.

Attendees must wear masks until they are seated at their table.

Zech Patio will be set up with tables that are distanced from each other. Clear signage and arrows along the floor will show people where to go.

Pre-packaged food will be available for sale, but patrons will also still be able to order a drink.

Plexiglass will be newly installed in front of the concession stands.

The Summer Nights Series will be the first events at WICA since its March 11 closure, around the time the organization was getting ready for a run of its first opera.

Everitt said the return of the local talent has been a great thing after 100 days of no WICA events.

“It’s such a pleasure to see these people back in action,” she said.

Performances will continue until August 8. During the last week of the summer series, there will be a fully staged outdoor production of “A Doll’s House.”

And in case it rains, there will be a structure over the patio in place soon. Everitt said the summer series is something they will continue doing every year.

Next up, Everitt said WICA is planning the logistics of a return to inside programming possibly this fall, depending on how COVID-19 will evolve.

The international line-up for Djangofest has been canceled but a scaled down, three-day festival is currently in the works with domestic performers for September.

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