The legendary saying in the entertainment industry is “the show must go on.”
And while the Stage West performance of Lucy Kirkwood’s “The Children” was forced to close after only one week due to Covid-19 restrictions, it can still be seen, thanks to the magic of streaming media.
Stage West announced they will be able to present the play to patrons through Vimeo ON-DEMAND. Patrons will be able to watch a digital video stream of the play from Thursday, April 9 at midnight through Wednesday, April 22 at 11:59 p.m.
“Our show opened and closed the same weekend that most every show in America closed. Ironically, it coincided with the Ides of March,” Stage West Executive Producer Dana Schultes said.
There are a limited number of “seats” available for sale due to the theatre’s licensing agreement. Virtual tickets are $40! That price will provide funds to pay the creative team members and Stage West staff, as well as support the theatre’s mission and campaign.
Should a household be experiencing economic hardship, there will be a special promo code (HARDSHIP) for $20. There will be a limited, but generous, number of these codes available for use.
These links will not be transferable to other households.
“‘The Children’ was one of the first shows we programmed for our 41st season. We love the story. Losing four weekends of sharing it with the public was really painful – both artistically and financially,” Schultes said. “Before the last performance concluded, we were on the phone with Actors’ Equity Association and Dramatists Play Service to see if we could get permission to film and short-release stream it.
“That would normally be a major no-no. Both the union and the licensing house were great, though, and within four days we had permission. We were able to film it one day before the area shelter-in-place rules began.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in Stage West’s history – or in my lifetime in general, which is just a couple years longer than Stage West has been around.”
Season and single ticket buyers who already had tickets will receive a unique promo code via email to enter at check-out. These will be sent on April 8.
Patrons will have 24 hours to complete viewing once it has begun. All links become invalid at midnight on April 23.
Streaming will be accessible at vimeo.com/ondemand/stagewest. Pre-purchase for new ticket-buyers will be available through Vimeo.com/ondemand/stagewest, and is underway.
“Right now the greatest threat to our theatre and the arts in general is not knowing. No one knows how long this is going to last or what a second wave next winter/spring will look like,” Schultes said. “No one knows when people will feel comfortable gathering again – even after restrictions are lifted. No one knows what peoples’ finances will look and what ticket prices they could afford.”
She said Stage West has been on a roll for over a decade, and this season they were regularly seeing sold-out houses. Everything was rosy and exciting, but then all activity has screeched to a halt.
“The future is suddenly unknown. People buying tickets to our stream of ‘The Children’ can expect a quintessential Stage West show – funny, dark, thought-provoking, and above all presented with excellence,” She said. “The set, lights, sound, costumes, props – all fantastic. The actors – great. The direction – the best around. Folks who stream it will not only be watching a fascinating, ghostly story but will also be supporting Stage West. We sure will need the help of our friends to get to the other side of this.”