Ty Juanbovie begins every barre with the routine pliésand tendus. But this fall, a normal ballet class is anything but routine.

“It’s been hard because I literally have the hardest time breathing in masks,” said Juanbovie.

COVID-19 not only transformed the class setting, but also Juanbovie’s typical Nutcracker season as well.

“We were busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, but it was fun,” he said. “It was so much fun.”

An empty performance schedule also means an empty theatre.

Once prospering with live performances, massive crowds and roaring audiences, the Manship Theatre remains empty, silent and suffering.

“As long as there is social distancing, our capacity is so limited that we can’t really do anything,” said John Kaufman, Director of Marketing and Programming at the Manship Theatre.

A fall season usually booked and packed, now, canceled, taped up and limited until possibly March 2021. 

“I mean if we don’t have funding now, then the future looks a little bleak,” said Kaufman.

With a bleak season ahead, Meredith Conger of Visit Baton Rouge fears this will affect the Baton Rouge Community.

“The arts do play such a huge role in that release, that creativity,” said Conger. “We need something more than just going to work.”

However, the Manship Theatre is determined to keep the arts alive in the area.

“We are actually doing what is like a Manship on-the-move,” said Kaufman referring to upcoming outdoor performances in Beauvoir Park hosted by the Manship Theatre.

As for Juanbovie, he hopes to take a bow in front of a real audience soon.

“Hundreds of people sitting there watching you…it just brings a different type of adrenaline,” said Juanbovie.

The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre will be taking the stage virtually Oct. 21.