"Patience is not sitting and waiting. It is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full." —Rumi
Patience is a virtue, so they say. But lately, it seems like one we are trying very hard to hang on to. As we enter our third month of stay-at-home self-quarantine in this time of COVID-19, we feel our patience slipping away and wanting more than ever to be back into the “real world.”
It is an unprecedented time for our country. Like you, we are doing our part to help make this pandemic go away. We are staying indoors, limiting trips out, wearing masks when we do, socially distancing ourselves from our friends, loved ones, neighbors, and colleagues. And dreaming of a better day when we can all convene again in the theater.
During this time we have distracted ourselves from the horrific realities of this pandemic by watching TV shows, movies, live steams, reading articles, books and plays, and listening to new music. We’ve shared some of these with you in the last two newsletters in the hope that it helps distract and entertain you while we ride out the pandemic together. But this is all content that has been created by others, not by us.
In the past week, it has become evident that going back to live theater probably won’t happen for at least a few months. We continue to watch the news and heed the orders and recommendations set forth by Gov. Cooper. Meanwhile, we are making adjustments to our production calendar and figuring out how we can make the best of it under these circumstances.
As Rumi says in the above quote, patience is not waiting around, it is forseeing. It is seeing the rose, not the thorn; the day, not the night. For the past two months we have practiced thoughtful patience. We have had many conversations and asked ourselves, “What makes live theater matter?” The answer is simple to us: theater is communion. It is people coming together in a shared space sharing an experience. Sitting down at the table for “the feast of life,” if you will, and walking away satiated, full of joy, hope, and reflection.
If that is what live theatre is, then how do we practice it when all we have is virtual communion? How do we honor the shared energy that happens between performers and audiences that occurs in a theatre via the internet? How do we ensure that if we produce a virtual performance that it will impact an audience the way seeing a live performance does?
The answer to that is one we are still trying to figure out. We have watched our fair share of live streamed plays in the past two months. Some are more successful than others, of course, and, as viewers, none of them have had the impact that a live performance has. Nothing can ever replace the immediate excitement and energy a live performance brings.
However, the sad reality is that large groups will not be convening in theaters any time soon. Technology and the internet is what we’ve got for the time being. As legendary fashion consultant Tim Gunn says, “Make it work!”
Honest Pint Theatre prides itself on giving audiences exactly what they pay for (an honest pint). We have spent countless hours thoughtfully discussing how we can bring something worth watching now while at the same time positioning ourselves to be ready to produce live performances when the time is right. Here’s what we know:
• Honest Pint will not produce content just for the sake of producing content. It must have value to you, our audiences.
• We want what we share to be meaningful and have an impact.
• We must work with the publishing company to secure the licensing for streaming rights. This is all new to them, so who knows how long this could take?
• Anything we create must adhere to the same standard of quality we have had for these past seven years. We must cast a show well and rehearse it via a virtual platform. We must produce it in a way that allows for the actors and the playwright to shine (that is, the technical elements must be as good as possible).
• Virtual content is going to be around for awhile.
• We miss you!
We have no timeline right now for when we will all be in the same room together sharing space and breath. We miss seeing you in the lobby before and after our shows. We miss your laughter and we miss your tears. We really miss your hugs and handshakes.
So, today we write to let you know that we will produce something on a virtual platform in the near future. We are working with the publisher of a favorite script of ours to figure out how we can bring a play to a screen near you! Once we have details finalized we will let you know when and how to tune in.
“The moon needs time to become full…” We appreciate your patience as we adjust to the new normal. We will be full again soon… and the only way to ensure that is to DRINK DEEP. We are not going anywhere, and with you by our side, we will continue to make theater for thirsty minds!
Stay well and safe. “See” you soon!
— David and Susannah
And now for something completely different...
Here is a bittersweet Instagram account that you might want to check out. Farley is a dog practicing social distancing in NYC. It is hard to see this fur baby sitting in front of these once crowded landmarks.
Here are a couple of images from Farley's insta...enjoy!