Peeping allowed here: How a Japanese theater has kept shows going with this new method

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Over the past few months, peeping has become an acceptable practice in Japan. Well, at least as it relates to the theater, according to Reuters.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moonlight Mobile Theater was forced to cancel its shows last year. So, in December, theater owners came up with a solution that turned audience members into “peeping Toms,” but in a good way.

The theater built cubicles surrounding the stage that have chairs and doors with letter-drop slots built into them, which allow audience members to view the performers on stage in a socially distanced way.

There are 30 audience members allowed at each show.

People have seemed to approve of the format, given all 12 of the peephole shows have sold out since December.

If there is a hiccup to the shows, it’s that they are not profitable to the owners.

Admission prices don’t cover the cost to produce the shows and to implement cleaning and safety measures -- and the theater has to rely on government subsides just to stay afloat.

But in the end, owners say they feel the shows are worth producing to benefit the performers and the industry as a whole.

“If we don’t do it, artists will lose opportunities to dance and act,” said Nobuyoshi Asai, the artistic director and choreographer of the theater. “We want to propose this as a model to bring audiences back to theaters.”

Would this type of theater be something you would attend if it was in your hometown? Let us know in the comments below.

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Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.