As many theater companies have been forced to stop production in order to flatten the curve and comply with state regulations, many are left with a creative ache. For theatre goers and for theatre makers there are solutions alike.
Save up to support local theaters once they reopen. Buy tickets for productions months in advance as gifts for others. Buy gift cards to theaters. Donate to local storefront theaters. This helps theatre makers stay afloat and can help theaters from going under due to Covid-19. Tune in to your local theatre webpages to see what they are planning to do concerning productions impacted by Covid-19.
Artists have been finding ways to create at home. Many have been exploring moving productions to other online formats. Others still are using this new found time to explore and get to things they haven’t had time to do before.
Here are some suggestions:
Some theaters have moved their productions to be radio dramas amid Covid-19. Radio shows or dramas are prerecorded or live shows through radio or online audiosite that focuses on narrating the storyline. Actors will focus on vocal performance instead of physical acting. This can be done remotely but can require some editing. For more information check out: Radio Drama History
Use what you have at home to make shadow puppets. These are easy to make and can be made from upcycling materials. You can produce a short work and use zoom or another online platform to perform. These plays are typically shorter but while working with materials you can explore ways to reimagine props for longer shows.
Prolonged Web Series
Theatre groups have moved productions online to produce works remotely via zoom. One technique is the prerecorded or hosting live scenes in which actors perform lines and make limited movements using lights and props made at home in conjunction with other actors in their homes. A play is split into multiple sections so that viewers can tune in over the course of a few weeks. This is another great alternative as it allows for more rehearsal time and the ability to find what works as the weeks go on.
Covid-19 may be a great time to start trying a hand out at writing stories. Play with length and genre. Form a group that reviews each other’s work. Some theatre groups are using writing groups to continue to create work, forma community and create content that can be later performed through web series, cold reads, and radio dramas. Check out this blog for tips: 15 Tips for Writing Your First Play
Like Playwriting this is actually creating a new work. Unlike playwriting devised work is less script heavy as it is produced as a community of ensemble members. The work is usually devised over the course of a couple meetings then performed. Similar to improv the work relies on community building and communication. This can be done through zoom or other online platforms to continue community building.
Lastly this is a great resource for support funds for theaters and artists as well as teaching and supporting resources: