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Virtual theater founded by South Lakes HS alumni shutters

The theater will go dark on July 31 (courtesy Walking Shadows Theatre)

A virtual theater launched by South Lakes High School alumni is officially closing its curtains.

Walking Shadow Readers Theatre announced the company’s closure in an email on Monday (July 17). The company closed due to lack of capacity, a team member said.

The theater will officially go dark on July 31.

“When we began during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, our aim was to help keep theatre alive while the world shut down,” Walking Shadow Readers wrote in the announcement. “With your support, our virtual platform proved to be a resounding success, more than we imagined! The successes we’ve experienced make it that much more difficult to announce we have decided this past 2022-2023 season was our last.”

The model was established in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. It kicked off in June 2020 as a casual reunion of South Lakes drama alumni before organizing virtual readings and performances.

The theater celebrated its first season with a One Acts Festival, which featured eight short plays in the summer of 2021. The program was streamed on YouTube.

Since it was founded, the theater presented developmental readings of 26 new plays — some of which became published works or were presented in person once theaters reopened. It offered new and up-and-coming playwrights a chance to have their work reviewed and experienced.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to help establish and participate in this new theatrical medium these past three years,” the company wrote. “Working with playwrights as their stories evolve, and hearing artists give voice to the characters the world has yet to meet, has been an incredible adventure.”

The team thanks its playwrights, guest artists and audience members for their support. In a response to a request for information to FFXnow, the team declined comment.