The theaters in our neighborhoods have long been the critical launching pads for playwrights, directors, actors, and theatrical artists of all stripes. As the Broadway lights were dimmed, for the time being, on March 12, 2020, Off Broadway Theaters struggled to make sense of what would be the best course of action for them as well. Each of our theatrical neighbors have had different responses, according to their schedules and their resources. One thing that unites them, and has always united them, is their ingenuity and nimble natures.
I reported on the plans and doings of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and The Cherry Lane Theatre last week. I am happy to further report that the virtual performances of The Siblings Play at Rattlestick are going exceedingly well, and you can see the show through Sunday, April 5th. Tickets are available on the Rattlestick website, and as always, they are very reasonably priced! And please don’t miss the Virtual Salons we and Rattlestick have created together. On April 7th, Actress Kathleen Chalfant will “sit down” with famed Medical Epidemiologist and Pandemic Preparedness Experience Steven Phillips for a Virtual Salon on the Science of Epidemics
And on April 14th, our very own Andrew Berman will “sit down” with Actor Zachary Quinto for a Virtual Salon on the Role of Epidemics in Our Neighborhood.
And over at the Cherry Lane Theatre, the exciting news is that they are preparing full speed ahead for COUNTDOWN TO CHERRY LANE THEATRE’S 100th!
I checked in with some of the other Off-Broadway theaters this week to see how they are doing during this period of pause and uncertainty.
As is true with many of our Off Broadway theaters, community is central to The Public. While their stages are dark, rehearsal rooms quiet, and spaces to gather are empty, they are working quickly to stay connected with some great streaming content in order for us all to stay engaged and connected. One of the most fantastic things produced in the past decade is their MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING from last year’s Shakespeare in the Park. If you missed it, now is the perfect time to catch it! The show was filmed for broadcast on Great Performances, but you can view it here!
You can also watch Richard Nelson’s trilogy The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family. FREE!
There is a lot going on virtually at The Public, so I encourage all of you to wander over to their site and see what’s cooking.
ArsNova is a relatively new theatrical group to our neighborhood. They moved into the Greenwich House Theater about a year ago, and have been super busy serving up innovative performances ever since. Its latest production, Heather Christian’s Oratorio for Living Things, was suspended after just two performances in the early part of March. But the theater has committed to keeping its artists paid during this pause. That’s a huge feat for a small theater, and of course we are all better for that kind of commitment. Oratorio is slated to return to the theater once things are up and running again, but for now, ArsNova is hosting what it can online — like an Instagram concert last Friday in which Andrew R. Butler performed songs from his musical “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future.” There will sure to be more to come, so wander over to their website as well and see what’s on offer.
We encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe, but once we are through this unusual time, go out and see theater in your neighborhood!!!