Severely limited by the coronavirus pandemic, Platt High School shifted gears in presenting its fall production of “War of the Worlds,” scrapping an in-person play for an auditory live stream that was in keeping with the radio broadcast of 1938. It was just one example of the creative ways those who love producing theater have kept going during these most difficult of times.
As the Record-Journal recently reported, area theater groups have suffered during the pandemic, but have not given in completely.
“We feel as if we’ve done a good job in offering up opportunities to our audience to enjoy theater, to have a break from the stress of the pandemic and to help us continue to stay alive and vibrant,” said Pam Amodio, an executive board member of the Castle Craig Players, in Meriden. The group did radio dramas and live-streamed concerts, as well as fundraising to keep the effort of its small downtown theater going.
Southington Community Theater doesn’t have its own theater space and the bills that go with it to worry about. The group kept on by doing some virtual events, including Facebook Live performances. “I want to say there were a total of 50 of them, close to 50 performances, so every night someone would get on our Facebook page and perform a song or two,” said Amanda Savio, the president of the theater’s board of directors. Savio said those efforts were well received.
Meriden Youth Theatre, which works with students from kindergarten to high school, turned from both indoor and outdoor productions to streaming shows. “I guess for 2020 we turned into a movie production studio,” said Joe Oblon, the group’s technical director. “It was an exciting change for our students and the directors as we had to figure out how to best perform for a camera and not a live audience.”
These efforts deserve a round of applause. To not have surrendered entirely to the limitations brought on by the pandemic has been no easy task. These groups deserve support as we look forward to the return of in-person performances.