Theatre in the Glen Coming this Fall

August 10, 2020 | ,

The East Central College Theatre Department is heading to the great outdoors this Fall for their first ever productions in the “Theatre in the Glen” at the Union campus.

The performance series will kick off Friday, Sept. 11, with “Hidden in This Picture,” a play written by Aaron Sorkin. The preshow begins at 5 p.m. and the performance begins at 6:30 p.m.

A second performance will be Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3:30 p.m. for the preshow and 5 p.m. for the performance.

Theatre in the Glen was developed due to restrictions prompted by COVID-19 and keeping the theatre staff, cast and audience safe and healthy, according to Grace Austin, theatre director.

“We had an incredible 20/21 theatre season ready to announce when it became very clear that any type of indoor event with a large crowd of people was simply not safe,” she said. “Fortunately, when we first came up with this plan the administration was incredibly supportive and we have had nothing but enthusiasm from day one.”

At each of the Theatre Department shows there will be food trucks and beverages for purchase during the preshow.

The theatre department will follow up the September shows with “Epic Proportions” that will be held Oct. 2 and 4.

“We are living in unprecedented times. The world as we know it has changed forever, and the only way that the arts will survive is by changing with it,” Austin said.

“ECC has always been known for its strong commitment to the arts, and being able to pivot to an outdoor performance series will allow us to continue our commitment to our students and the community to be a corner stone of arts and culture.”

The performances will be in the grassy area at the heart of the ECC campus between Hansen Hall and the Donald Shook Student Center.

The audience can purchase tickets for a square where they can sit on a blanket within a 10-foot by 10-foot square painted on the hill. Each square can seat up to six people.  No lawn chairs are permitted in the grass areas.

There also will be four-top table seats available for purchase on the bridge overlooking the Glen.

“Lawn Squares,” that can seat up to six people cost $20 and “‘Skywalk Seats,” that will seat four people, are $40.

Patrons of the Arts can begin reserving their squares or tables soon for “Hidden in this Picture” and “Epic Proportions.” Tickets for the first performance will go on sale publicly Aug. 17.

Other Music, Theatre, Art and Film & Lecture events planned in the Glen are the ECC Band Concert on Oct. 20; Classics & Cocktails: Anatomy of a Murder (Film & Music with the ECC Jazz Band), Oct. 22; and the Theatre Department’s performance of “Tales from the Shadows,” Oct. 28-30.

Theatre Performances

During “Hidden in This Picture,” the preshow will include barbecue from Hazel’s Back Barbecue, Washington; and refreshments from Dana’s Shaved Ice, St. Clair; and Pinckney Bend Distillery, New Haven.

Austin works at the Muny every summer and is bringing the excitement and knowledge of outdoor performances to ECC.

“I see how much people love attending outdoor theater,” she said.

“Using what I’ve learned, along with the knowledge of my colleagues, we’ve been able to use some of those performance and technical techniques and apply them to the Glen.”

Austin added that performances will run about 50 minutes.

“Play selection was somewhat out of necessity — shows need to be short in order to avoid an intermission, and we wanted to make sure that we could appeal to a wide age range,” Austin said. “I have always loved both scripts that we chose, and I’m looking forward to hearing the audience laughter during performance!”


Masks will be required unless audience members are seated in their lawn squares or at their tables. Walkways will be spaced according to CDC guidelines.

Social distancing will be observed while standing in line and there will be no tickets exchanged and all programs will only be available digitally.

In addition, each seat will be assigned to a bathroom in order to maximize space and safety.

“I am so looking forward to the energy from the audience that comes during a performance evening,” Austin said. “We are so fortunate to have incredible support from our audiences, I know that the actors and technicians and I are really looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces again.”

For more information visit or call the Box Office at 636-584-6693