It’s really happening: theatres have started to announce live shows again, even indoors

BY JANET SMITH, STIR VANCOUVER

IT’S WHAT everyone in the performing arts community has been waiting for: announcements from theatre companies that stages will reopen.

The first out of the gates have released plans to host audiences not just outdoors, but to invite up to 50 back indoors again this summer.

In the wake of recent news from provincial health authorities that venues will be allowed to welcome indoor audiences by June 15, Arts Club Theatre Company unveiled a summer season of two solo shows alongside an audio play starring Carmen Aguirre.

I, Claudia, Kristen Thomson’s award-winning tween story, starring Lili Beaudoin, will play to limited audiences at the Newmont Stage from July 22­ to August 15. Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story, a musical celebrating the singing coal miner who kept crews spirits alive after the Nova Scotia disaster of 1958, will greet a live crowd at the Granville Island Stage from August 5 to 29. Aguirre’s audio play Mala, written by Melinda Lopez, is available September 1 to 28. Tickets for the shows will go on sale on June 16, at artsclub.com.

Artistic director Ashlie Corcoran said in a press announcement about the Art Club’s summer lineup, “Once the province announced the plans to lift restrictions, which included allowing limited indoor gatherings, we celebrated the news. Then we got busy doing what we do best—creating live theatre! And all this will be done in the most stable, safe way possible.”

July 8 to 17, the Dancing on the Edge festival has confirmed it will host limited, live events in the Firehall Arts Centre and its courtyard (Immigrant Lessons), at Russian Hall (Rachel Meyer), and at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Chinese Classical Gardens (dumb Instrument dance).

The Queer Arts Festival (July 24 to August 13) also released news that it would be hosting in-person outdoor events later this summer, including the Onibana Taiko and Alvin Erasga Tolentino Japanese folk-punk and dance show at the Mountainview Cemetery in August.

Meanwhile, the Massey Theatre revealed a full 2021-22 season that kicks off in November with concerts by Martha Wainwright and Bill Henderson. The new year will see touring shows like comedian Shaun Majumder’s LOVE in February.

“We are so proud to have made it through this pandemic as an organization. We’ve pulled together one of our most exciting programs ever to bring people back to cultural experiences,” said Jessica Schneider, the theatre’s executive director,in the announcement.