Happy New Year! We made it out of 2020, where many theater companies learned how to stream shows and pivot to online programming and also reopen with new protocols. We asked the BTD member theaters for their 2021 forecast and what they miss most about live theater. (Spoiler alert! It’s you: the audience.)
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
“Gathering audiences.” – Aaron, Owner, Trickery Chicago
“There’s so much to look forward to in 2021, but our biggest goal is building-sized: When we purchased a space to serve as our new home in the Uptown neighborhood back in 2018, there was no way to predict the journey we (and the world at large) would go on in the interim! But with the help of our supporters, staff, and architecture and theatre planning teams, among countless others, next year we’ll keep moving forward on making the dream of our new home a reality.” – Emily Marso, Marketing and Communications Assistant, TimeLine Theatre
“The inauguration. But also, seeing the fruits of all the hard work we’ve been doing in 2020 to get these projects created and on their feet. I think that audiences are really going to fall in love with all the series we’ve pulled together, since they truly represent a wonderfully diverse collection of artists and voices.” – Andrew Pond, Artistic Director, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre
“We’re looking forward to continuing our live Zoom reading series: The Room. We’ve really enjoyed introducing our audiences to these incredible stories, written by impressive playwrights, performed by outstanding artists.” – Francisco Lopez, Director of Marketing & Communications, American Blues Theater
“We’re excited that we will be launching the Newport Virtual Venue on NYE, a customized, interactive room navigable by a custom avatar (hosted on Gather). Think Mario Brothers meets a burlesque venue! We are excited to be able to offer our producers the ability to rent this space so they can focus on creating art and curating shows instead of worrying about all of the back-end headaches that accompany producing a digital show.” – Megan Hartmann, GM/Artistic Curator, The Newport Theater
“Vaccinations, vaccinations, vaccinations!” – Sandy Shinner, Producing Artistic Director, Shattered Globe Theatre
What are you looking forward to when live theater resumes?
“The energy of a live audience.” – Jason Geis, Artistic Director, CSz Theater Chicago
“Hearing live laughter.” – David Cerda, Artistic Director, Hell in a Handbag Productions
“I am looking forward to the time when it will be safe for us to collaborate on producing a play all in the same room and then sharing it with audiences in person.” – Jill Chukerman Test, President, Saint Sebastian Players
“Hearing a live audience laugh.” – Andrew Pond, Artistic Director, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre
“Seeing live theater. I miss it.” – Aaron, Owner, Trickery Chicago
“As much as I love exploring digital content, there’s no substitute for being in the room when you see magic being made right before your very eyes.” – Megan Hartmann, GM/Artistic Curator, The Newport Theater
“People! The buzz of a live audience can’t be replaced!” – Francisco Lopez, Director of Marketing & Communications, American Blues Theater
Do you have a message for your audience?
“Thank you.” – David Cerda, Artistic Director, Hell in a Handbag Productions
“SGT will be back! Can you imagine taking your seat in the theater again? As the lights dim and the play begins, I bet there won’t be a dry eye in the house.” – Sandy Shinner, Producing Artistic Director, Shattered Globe Theatre
“We love you, we miss you, and we can’t wait until we perform in-person again. Until then, stay safe and take care of each other.” – Francisco Lopez, Director of Marketing & Communications, American Blues Theater
“There is nothing more powerful than the collective energy of a gathered audience.” – Aaron, Owner, Trickery Chicago
“Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. Your support means everything to us.” – Megan Hartmann, GM/Artistic Curator, The Newport Theater
“We’re still here, and we’re still committed to doing what we’ve always done—produce great entertainment while treating our artists with the same type of respect and consideration we would want to be treated with. And that will never change, regardless of whether we’re live or Memorex.” – Andrew Pond, Artistic Director, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre
“Do what you can to support the theater community. Whether it’s watching stuff online, making a donation, or writing your reps in DC to make sure the arts are protected – every bit helps.” – Jason Geis, Artistic Director, CSz Theater Chicago
To see what’s playing now in the BTD, head to our Shows page.
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