WORCESTER, Mass. - The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester is gearing up for their biggest weekend since the start of the pandemic. 

The theater expects to host more than 1,000 audience members by the end of the weekend. They've held other events, but this weekend marks the first time they'll have audiences this big in about 16 months. 

Ahead of its reopening, the theater revamped all of its HVAC systems and says they focus heavily on disinfecting surfaces.

“It’s amazing. It's been a long year. I think we've all missed this. Things take a while to ramp up and come back. Our full season reopening is in the fall,” said Troy Siebels, Hanover Theatre’s president and CEO.. “These performances give us an opportunity to test out new cleaning protocols and things we are going to do to keep audience members safe and healthy and it just feels good to be back in the theater.”

This weekend's performances include the musical "Oklahoma!"  from the Hanover Theatre’s summer youth program and "Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar" from Worcester Music.