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It’s a very sad thing to see the stage at the Lincoln Cultural Center, which during most weeks is occupied by rehearsals, set building and productions, empty. The halls have been “painfully” quiet since the middle of March.

“We’re used to juggling four or five things each weekend,” Director Cathy Davis said. “There are a lot of things that take place throughout the week that have been cancelled.”

A “ghost light” is on, but the stage lights, sound system and props are gathering dust from lack of use. A ghost light is usually a small light, sometimes nothing more than a floor lamp of some sort, that shines on the dark stage throughout the night when the theater is closed and unoccupied. It’s there just in case someone is in the theater working late so they can see where they’re going. Given the Cultural Center is said to be haunted, it stands to reason that a “ghost” light be lit. 

So many plays and events have already been cancelled or postponed. “Diary of Ann Frank” is postponed to October, “Shrek: the Musical,” which was to be shown at the Lincoln County Citizens Center has been cancelled. “Dancing with our Stars” may happen in October, and auditions for the “Nutcracker,” which are usually held at the Citizen’s Center, will be held at Star Struck Dance Studio with social distancing.

“Our prayers are that we won’t have a second wave and all of our fall activities are able to happen,” Davis said. “It’s really hard with all of the work that our member organizations have done to have no activity. We’re ready to bring life back to the facility.”

The popular drama camp had to be cancelled for the summer. 

“It was heartbreaking to cancel it,” Davis said. “The highlight of drama camp is to bring all of the children together on one stage to do a production. We can’t do that now.”

Typically, there’s 75-80 students, 15 or more junior directors and the instructors who are together for a full two weeks of classes and rehearsals for a production.

“If we cut the numbers so we could have eight students and two directors in a room, we’d have to turn people away and they didn’t want to do that,” Davis said. “I applaud that. If the school calendar remains the way it was last year and there’s a three-week break for Christmas, the plan is to hold a drama camp then.”

This will be the 15th year for the local production of the “Nutcracker” and Davis hopes and prays that it’ll be able to be held.

With the center being essentially vacant, some remedial repair work has been able done as well as deep cleaning.

Because fundraisers that are normally held throughout the year have had to be cancelled and deposits for room rentals have been returned, Davis said it’ll be difficult for the center to keep going if they can’t open the facility. She’s received some grant funding to help for the time being.

Meanwhile, the ghost light will burn on.

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