Welcome back to Delaware’s Off-Broadway!
For 27 years (!) City Theater Company has been producing the kind of theater we want to see in the world. From re-envisioning classic musicals like “Gypsy” and “La Cage Aux Folles,” to staging intimate interpretations of newer shows like “American Idiot” and “Passing Strange” — all while developing original works and presenting world premieres like “On the Air” and “After Birth of a Nation,“ and engaging the community via our Fearless Improv team and the creation of the annual Tax Free Comedy Festival — CTC has always strived to innovate and challenge orthodox ideas of what theater is and what it can be.
Of course, the challenge posed and the innovation required to navigate what theater is — and what it can be — has never been more daunting than it has been in 2020. To quote one of our best-loved productions, 2012’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” “these are complicated times, and we’re going to make some complicated decisions.” Like so many of our peers in the performing arts, CTC is unable to present a traditional season (even by our untraditional standards) due to safety concerns for our patrons, our performers, and our staff.
Physical distancing and mask-wearing are welcome preventative measures we embrace to limit the spread of this virus, but these same guidelines wholly negate the kind of connections actors and designers need in their craft. And they wholly negate our particular artistic goal of connecting with our audience in real time, when the experience of making art is shared by everyone in the room where it happens.
So CTC has been examining, once again, what theater is, and what it can be. To that end we are planning a virtual season that reflects who we are, where we’ve been, and what we hope to accomplish in the future — and invite you all to get in on the act.
We still vow to shoot the moon, to damn the torpedoes, to pound the pavement. We will just do so (for the time being) in a virtual environment. Our big ideas and our big energy march on, and we hope you will breathe in and out of time with us as we walk through 2020-21 together.
We’ve got some cool plans for showcasing whom we are to devotees and converts alike:
- Music videos a-la-Zoom featuring original casts and bands revisiting some of our favorite numbers from past shows.
- New play readings (also a-la-Zoom) featuring old-school champs beside newbie fam, highlighting local talent from page to stage.
- Interviews (you guessed it…a-la-Zoom) via our successfully hilarious Fearless Fridays summer program, expanded to highlight the work and history of our major players past, present, and future.
We look forward to connecting with you online this season, and to connecting with you in person when it’s safe to do so.
Again to quote BBAJ, “these are complicated times, and these are complicated decisions…But we are going to make these decisions together.”
Join us as we live loud in our 27th year, and help shape the notion of what theater is, and what it can be.
— Kerry Kristine McElrone