With few theaters seeing relief anytime soon, new updated data show that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to hammer the arts communities in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with losses in the tens of millions of dollars.
The Arsht Center for the Performing Arts announced titles and dates for its Theater Up Close series, slated to begin in early December with locally-produced works from Zoetic Stage and City Theatre including world and regional premieres. But officials do not know whether the coronavirus will force changes in the schedule.
New figures show that the COVID-19 pandemic continued to gut punch the arts community in Miami-Dade County through last month with a total loss estimated at nearly $43 million and costing more than 5,300 jobs across the non-profit and cultural organizations, the county reported Tuesday.
PART ONE: One month into the nation-wide shutdown of live communal theater due to COVID-19, South Florida companies, like those in so many other regions, are trying to write Act Two with little clue how Act Three will play out. In this first of two parts, leaders from local companies and venues a limn this tale of confident hope and chilling fear, cold balance sheets with seven digits in the red, and blue sky imagining what theater will look like in two, three, 18 months.
Joseph Adler, a titan who helped transform South Florida’s cultural landscape by mounting unblinking, dynamic work and aggressively championing local artists, died Thursday. Passionate and outspoken, curmudgeonly and supportive, gruff and loving, but unassailably a skilled artist, Adler had been a force of nature as producing artistic director of GableStage since 1998.
Across South Florida, 37 artists accustomed to performing in front 1,000 people sat alone in their bedrooms, kitchens, patios, backyards emoting just as earnestly inches away from their laptops. For more than 3 hours Sunday, performers acted monologues written by local playwrights and directed by local colleagues in Theatre Lab’s Online Original Monologue Festival fundraiser to counteract vanished contracts.
Travelling in the national tour means moving to a different hotel in a different city nearly every week, not always sure what city that is, maintaining relationships with loved ones from afar, striving to keep the show fresh when you’ve done the material hundreds of times. And bats divebombing the performance. Just ask Hialeah native Nick Duckart travelling with Come From Away as it approaches the Kravis and Broward Center.
Does it ever get boring being in the room where it happens?
No, it does not, as illustrated from the moment Aaron Burr begins recounting the story of this lad from the Caribbean who became one the United States’ Founding Fathers in the tight, engrossing production of Hamilton at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts through March 15.
Something unexpected is on Riverside Theatre’s mainstage: A straight play. That’s right, no big box office-guaranteed lavish, toe-tapping musical Instead, patrons are getting well-developed characters, witty banter, heart-rending confrontations and the satisfaction of a good play well done in Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers.
Another round of 2020-2021 season announcements has arrived with some promising titles — this time from Primal Forces and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre – plus a headline-making offering from Broadway Across America at the Arsht Center: Hadestown.