As one of those “show people”, working in the entertainment industry, I’m in the same boat as millions of others who’ve seen their careers, their livelihoods, put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic. Broadway is shuttered until next year (though it wouldn’t be surprising if they had to extend their “dark period” as it’s looking more and more like that promised vaccine, if it’s even available by the first of the year as the experts are predicting, won’t be widely available for several months after), but some independent theatres have opened back up. I know of two locally. I question the responsibility of this. When I had to make the decision to cancel the remainder of the 2020 season, I had to weigh all the factors, and while I remain convinced that we could have done a show in a way that was reasonably safe for our audiences, I couldn’t guarantee such safety for my actors. Some companies don’t seem to be concerned about that. Some of us are.
I’m lucky, though. As my little company operates not out of a standard theatre but out of an antebellum (and haunted) mansion, I have more wiggle room. We put our heads together and concocted a way that we *could* put on a show right now while keeping our audiences *and* our performers safe. THE BELLES OF WHITECHAPEL: THE VICTIMS OF JACK THE RIPPER SPEAK is a series of monologues. Only one actress on the stage—and at rehearsals—at one time. And we are performing the show outside, where we can seat attendees the requisite six-feet apart. We are two weekends into a three-weekend run as I sit typing these words. So far, so good.