One can only hope that we will get enough people vaccinated so that theatres will be able to start opening in the fall and winter. The uncertainty is unsettling to say the least!
Will Little Red Riding Hood be seen live on stage? Will small groups be able to rehearse? Will we be able to film it on the stage and show it later? Will Hilda's Yard be a go and get filmed? Do we go ahead with Mamma Mia auditions? Can we run Mamma Mia in April with a reduced audience and still be able to cover the $25,000 in expenses and show some profit? How do we raise money to cover the cost of storage of our stage materiel?
All of the above are just some of the things that our Board is having to deal with, as are all community theatre groups. Unfortunately we are in a rural area and don't have the numbers of people or the capacity to do the variety of virtual shows that groups such as Elora are doing. Raising funds is difficult.
"The campaign for Canadian theatre in general — whether it's Stratford to the smallest indie theatre company — is how to make our audiences come back and how to make them feel safe, so that they keep coming back," said Nina Lee Aquino, artistic director of Toronto's Factory Theatre and president of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.
Gathering for a shared experience is at the heart of theatre — but it's also what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us we shouldn't be doing, she said.
That's the puzzle that we all need to solve."
We will continue to try and solve the puzzle, moving forward as much as we can. We can only hope that our public will support us in fundraising ventures or through donations and sponsorships to get us over this rough part.
Live amateur theatre needs to exist. Hope does spring eternal.