By Charlie De Mar

CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time this year, the Goodman Theater opened its doors to a live audience.

The curtain has been closed at Chicago theaters for more than a year, and while the Goodman Theater welcomed back guests, it did look different.

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Theater fans needed more than just a ticket to watch Friday night’s preview showing of School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play. They also needed masks.

“We are used to wearing the masks, so it will be just fine,” said Karen Davis. “We are just looking forward to the atmosphere.”

Masks are mandatory regardless of vaccination status. Social distancing will be enforced. Of the 843 available seats, 600 are open for guests — available in pods up to four people.

“I feel pretty positive about returned to live theater, especially with the mask and our social distance,” said Carol White.

Another major change: The concession stand will be closed,. But White and her husband Herbert came prepared.

“I wish they did have concession stands. That’s why we are going to find something to eat right now,” White said.

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The executive director of the theater remembers the date of the last show.

“Some things you don’t want to remember,” Roche Schulfer said. “But it was about March 15, 2020.”

Now more than a year later, the show picks up where it left off, just days away from opening night.

“I can only liken the feeling I had to opening this building in the North Loop in 2000,” he said.

“We are excited. It’s kind of a night out on the town,” said Davis.

Since the Goodman has been closed, Schulfer said they have obviously been operating at a deficit but have stayed afloat due to federal assistance.

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Opening night for the show is Monday.

Charlie De Mar