A little over six months ago, David and I sat by the phone awaiting the call that would tell us we needed to cancel that evening's performance of Too Close to Home — just one night after Opening. The call came, and we began to share the news with rest of the Theatre Orangeville family. In that moment, and the many days that followed there was no shortage of things to do, contingencies to plan...
As we navigated our way through our vastly revised to-do list, staff meetings became Zoom meetings. The days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months. The theatre, rehearsal hall, production shop and offices laid dark. Contingency plan A became plan B, then C, and eventually plan M version 2.7... (or something like that), and now it's September.
The live entertainment industry has been devastated by the effects of the pandemic and impacts both companies and individuals. The vast majority of live event workers and organizations have been out of work or on government support since March, with no end in sight.
When we participate in cross-country Zoom calls with other Canadian Theatres, I find myself reflecting on how grateful I am that we exist in the community we do. We are blessed with a vibrant arts and culture community and a staff family that is ready to pivot and adjust to the times. We're finding new ways to connect with you, our patrons, and are developing a line-up of online productions to provide joyous and engaging entertainment over the coming months.
But... (because there's always a but), we all feel that longing to be back in the room, whether that be the office, the shop, the rehearsal hall or in YOUR Theatre. We long for days when we can once again come together and share in the process of creating, building and performing. When we can once again welcome you in to the seats and together feel the excitement of being a part of a live performance - every one unique and never to be experienced exactly the same again.
The national Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community was September 22, and we lit up the Opera House, the office, the Rehearsal Hall and a handful of our Sponsor's buildings in red to do our part to raise awareness for all of the organizations, artists and arts workers that have been impacted by the ongoing closure of performance venues.
Theatre Orangeville, with the help of our Sponsors and community partners will be leaving the lights on for a few more weeks in hopes of keeping the conversation going. If you see a red light shining - think of us, and spread the word. We'll be here, with a new playbill in hand, standing by, ready to get back on YOUR stage. #LightUpLive #WeMakeEvents