Count Basie Center Reveals Pop-Up Stage

count Basie center pop-up stage
Courtesy of Count Basie Center for the Arts

The Count Basie Center for the Arts has reopened the Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, employing an elevated flooring platform that allows patrons to sit at socially-distant tables and enjoy performances in the center’s 94-year old historic theater. The venue’s new pop-up stage configuration extends the length of the theater stage nearly halfway across the room, providing the space necessary to seat up to 150 patrons at cabaret-style tables. The elevated flooring platform takes audiences above the seats and creates a ballroom-like atmosphere.

“When Governor Murphy announced in October that performance venues could reopen, we immediately started to think of the safest, most economical way to present performances in our historic theater,” said Adam Philipson, president and CEO of the Count Basie Center for the Arts. “The pop-up stage configuration is a cool and unique set-up we’ve used at galas, but more importantly, it allows us to achieve the distancing measures we’ve found to be key in the success of presenting shows next door at the Vogel.”

The first performance in the pop-up stage configuration will be local artist Chris Pinnella on Saturday, December 19.

Like the Basie Center’s new performance space, the Vogel, pop-up stage  performances will be presented with strict Covid-19 safety measures in place.

Covid-19 Protocols:

  • Shows will be seated with tables sold in “Table For Two,” “Table For Four” and “Table For Six” configurations only.
  • Tables will be positioned six feet apart, with the front row of tables 12 feet from the performers.
  • Only 150 seats will be available for performances at this time.
  • Drinks and concessions will be sold table-side; i.e.: no lining up at bars.
  • Patrons must wear masks at all times while inside the theater, except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Patrons are expected to abide by social distancing norms.
  • Temperatures will be taken at the door. Patrons with a body temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to enter. A refund will be issued.
  • Fans must remain seated at their purchased table, unless using the restroom or exiting.
  • There is no re-entry.
  • For nights with two shows, entry for the second show will begin once the previous crowd is cleared and the venue is cleaned / sanitized.
  • For late shows, New Jersey mandates bar service must cease at 10pm. Last call will be 9:45pm.
  • Tables will not be permitted to be split and resold. Patrons holding resold tickets will be denied entry and refunds will not be offered.
  • Patrons will be required to remain seated, unless getting up to leave or use restrooms.
  • Restrooms will be limited to two (2) patrons at a time.
  • Tables will not be permitted to be split and resold. Patrons holding resold tickets will be denied entry and refunds will not be offered.
  • These events will utilize Ticketmaster’s touch-less, mobile entry system. No paper tickets will be accepted.
  • Venue security will enforce ground rules, which will follow current CDC and State of New Jersey guidelines for indoor events.

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