Long Island theater stays afloat creating a socially distant North Pole experience

OAKDALE, New York -- The North Pole has come to Long Island for families to wander through the magical path that the CM Performing Arts Center created for all to enjoy.

For the past 34 years, the non-profit theater has worked to produce quality theatrical productions.

However, when they had to shut their doors in March, the staff wasn't sure when or if they would be able to go back.

"Once we were closed and it seemed like things were going to be longer and longer, it forced creativity," said Alyse Arpino, Executive Director of CM Performing Arts Center. "It brought on this whole new revolution of creativity and how we do what we do best and make the most of this situation we're in right now."

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To keep their theater afloat, the staff created an immersive North Pole experience for families to walk-through and safely interact with the Christmas characters.

Also, families can have their own personal North Pole tour guide that will document at all times to capture your adventure through the North Pole's scenic rooms and landscapes.

"Well, it's fun here because you'll see the characters and lots of decorations," said Rafe McDonald, a participant.

From the moment you arrive, you'll explore the ins and outs of Santa's Workshop, meet Santa's friends and helpers, and be introduced, to the big man himself for a one-on-one greeting.

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At the end of the whimsical journey, kids can write a letter to Santa right from the North Pole mailroom.

"There's been so much uncertainty of how the theater is going to survive and how the theater is going to move forward," said Arpino. "Through doing the North Pole experience we have a glimpse of hope and what the future can be."

Even though the last day of the North Pole experience was on December 20, the theater is planning to host other immersive experiences for the future holidays to come in 2021!

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