Mishler Theatre

Holly Foy / Acoustic Brew

 (UPDATE: The Acoustic Brew concert mentioned in this story, scheduled for Sunday, May 30, has been cancelled due to weather.)

As the pandemic begins to recede, cultural organizations are navigating ever-changing guidelines for performers and audiences. We spoke with three arts organizations who’ve taken different approaches as they strive to get back to normal.

Mason Strouse is a board member and director of communications at Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre, called “CAST” for short.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Last fall, Altoona Community Theatre lost their long-time executive director to a sudden illness. Their new theatre season begins September 19-22, with a production of Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers,” at Altoona’s Mishler Theatre. It’s an emotional time for the theatre group, as they remember an old friend, and welcome a new leader.

Steve Helsel was, for decades, the first and only executive director of Altoona Community Theatre, also known as “ACT.”  Members of the theatre speak of him as a leader, a whirlwind of creativity, and a good friend to everyone.

Glenn Davis (courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre) / 7th Ave Photo, Altoona

For the first time ever, Altoona Community Theatre is presenting a Shakespeare play.  AS WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports this weekend's production of "Romeo and Juliet," which opens Thursday, will focus on  keeping the performance real and relevant, with modern costumes and music by the Talking Heads. 

photo courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee has been in the news lately.  The author released a sequel to the novel last year, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is currently working on a new stage adaptation for Broadway.  As WPSU's Kristine Allen reports, Altoona Community Theatre presents an earlier stage version of the story this week.  A special matinee for schools was held on Wednesday, and local teachers brought their students in droves.

Join us for Fright Night, tonight from 8:00 to midnight on WPSU-FM.  You'll hear an eclectic mix of scary music, stories by Edgar Allen Poe, and some first-person accounts of hauntings at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona, which first opened its doors in 1906.

courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre

Altoona Community Theatre  presents GHOST TOURS of the Mishler Theatre in Altoona Wednesday, October 29 and Friday, October 31.  While the tours features actors as  "live" ghosts, rumor has it that the Mishler is also haunted.

(NOTE: Be sure to listen to FRIGHT NIGHT, Friday, October 31 from 8:00 to midnight, to hear more extended stories from those who've experienced spooky, unexplained events at the Mishler Theatre)