Since the coronavirus has created a barrier between audiences and live theater performances, theater companies across the world are looking for solutions to continue engaging with their audiences. The Wilma is seizing the opportunity to reimagine how they make theater and how they might take the lessons learned during the pandemic and change the field at large. Recognizing that audiences crave live theater while needing to stay at home, they are exploring a hybrid model of theater-making for the next season that marries the digital world with live performance. The Wilma envisions a multifaceted approach that involves altering their physical space on two levels: (i) embedding HD cameras throughout the theater to film productions and livestream them while (ii) changing the audience configuration of the auditorium to provide a safe, socially distanced experience.
This grant was made as part of Barra’s Reimagining Theater for Changing Times initiative for projects that reinvent how performing arts organizations can present work at a time when social distancing has caused many to cancel their 2020 seasons. These companies are considering how to not only safely present to audiences but are also being thoughtful about incorporating social justice issues into their programming and engaging diverse audiences. Selected projects stood out for their willingness to be daring, think creatively, work collaboratively and share their learning broadly about new models that can be used throughout the pandemic and beyond.