Tag Archives: The Wick Theatre
The calendars in South Florida theater are being written in pencil—with erasers. Regional theaters are forging through the Covid spike with no panic and limited public fuss, but with a total lack of certainty of anything—cancelling performances, jettisoning titles, postponing productions a week, a month, a year; inserting swings; and calming ticket buyers by email.
No matter the time zone, country or phase of the moon, Mamma Mia! is playing somewhere, in this case an inarguably competent production at The Wick Theatre. Even those who have never been a fan of the work have to admit its score contains tunes that spark Pavlovian responses of joyous clapping and swaying along in audience members, even if they’ve aren’t familiar with the ABBA “ouvre.”
THE FACTS IN THIS STORY HAVE CHANGED. TICKETS *ARE* BEING SOLD.The Wick Theatre is trying a singular paradigm: It will mount a full production of A Chorus Line beginning April 22 inside its auditorium. But its leaders decidedly do not want to sell any tickets.
A look back at 2020: Yes, South Florida theater was crippled by the pandemic. But its acolytes remained driven to express their artistry, and patrons remained ravenous for their work. They continued to explore projects, create avenues and seek paychecks with efforts ranged from filmed full-fledged productions to monologues newly penned in bedrooms.
The Wick Theatre and Actors’ Playhouse have scheduled their first productions inside their main auditoriums. The Wick opens this weekend with a John Denver tribute concert and the Playhouse offers the family musical Madeleine’s Christmas at the end of the month.
Drive-in theater, theater behind storefront glass, podcasts: In spurts over 7 months, South Florida theater artists have been preparing experiments online and live, for free, for pay or donations. As many are coming into view this fall, they are coalescing into a new if temporary paradigm that holds out hope for the survival of the genre.
Strong wide-ranging criticism has prompted the Carbonell Awards to begin systemic changes connected to diversity. It also will not consider upcoming productions through early 2021 due to the pandemic. Also three more theaters have left the program.
As a handful of local venues gingerly tried to reopen in recent weeks and others prepare detailed plans for the future, a regimen of detailed protocols ranging from parking to popcorn to Playbills is emerging in documents that define what performing arts events in South Florida may look like for customers, artists, staff and vendors when theaters can reopen fully.
Trivia contests, master classes, solo performances, new play development online, lectures, podcast-like schmoozing interviews, requests for video audition, 24-hour theater projects, even soliciting subscriptions for specific dates. The ghost light may be lit across the South Florida theater scene, but nearly every troupe is aggressively keeping the genre’s profile inescapable.
PART TWO: 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.