Last weekend, American Shakespeare Center became one of the first not-for-profit theatre in North America to successfully and safely produce live indoor theatres, passing a milestone in our 2020 SafeStart Season efforts.
Very soon, we’ll debut an exciting new partnership that will allow us to stream our repertory around the globe through our platform. You can learn more about how to bring the Playhouse to your house by signing up on our website to get priority notification when live streams are available
This fall, BlkFrs LIVE will offer education partners new and affordable ways to bring the joy of live Shakespeare to their digital campus with Virtual Student Matineesand a Virtual Tour accompanied by interactive, live-hosted education workshops with our artists.
These are just some of the ways your theatre is responding to this crisis. ASC did not ask to be in the vanguard of modelling ways to live and work in the age of coronavirus, but as the plays we cherish remind us: when history finds you there is a duty to rise to the occasion.
Producing ASC SafeStart means implementing many mitigations including: a carefully maintained quarantine bubble for our actors, universal masking for our staff and audience, and socially distanced seating. That safety comes at a premium, however, because social distance limits our Blackfriars Playhouse capacityto one third of what we can normally seat.
This spring, two-thousand three hundred and fifty eight of you answered the call to Keep the Lights On. Every day we say thank you by taking that investment and turning it into art that inspires made by a company of actors that provides us all with much needed hope for our future.
Thank you. It cannot be said enough.
In honor of our SafeStart Season, we are now launching the Save a Space campaign, your opportunity to purchase, for $500, the space between the seats and help keep ASC afloat by returning a portion of the income we have lost to social distancing mitigations. We will honor each gift by reserving a space in your name, to remind us all that theatre exists as the expression of a community, and that the commitment to safety takes all of us looking out for each other.
There are 175 seats that need to be filled by your generosity. 25 have already been spoken for. Won’t you help us with the remaining 150?
In the last five months, I’ve often heard it said that the arts are essential to a civil society and even a functioning democracy. I happen to agree – throughout my life I’ve witnessed how we turn to fiction to help us understand facts about ourselves, our relationships, and our times.
If the arts are indeed necessary then it is the obligation of artists who find ourselves in a position to make art to do so, to courageously go forward to the front lines, to lead by example, and to create. As a small yet nimble theatre in a region that has had relatively low levels of viral outbreak, ASC has an opportunity to model new strategies for employing artists, stimulating local economies, and providing truly essential services to our audiences near and far.
We believe that the art we make now, in and for our present, may well form the substance of our future.
I hope to see you in the Playhouse soon – whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or online.