Last March, I met with the director and the actors following a rehearsal of Wittenberg. The play by David Davalos was scheduled to open about a week later and we were getting ready to jump into the technical rehearsal phase. Like theatres all over the world, our discussion resulted in the painful decision to cancel the production and to close the theatre. I knew I would miss working with these wonderful and talented people, but I didn’t know how much I would miss all of you – the audience. Now, almost a year later, I can feel free to imagine all of this theatre’s friends gathering again for a performance. Yes, we are still here and our plans to reopen are becoming a reality.
I’m in the midst of reading and re-reading plays to consider for the upcoming season. At this point, it looks like we’ll begin with our production of Wittenberg. The set is still up, after all, and we’re going to try to assemble the original cast. In December, we’re hoping to reprise our production of Over the Tavern. Many people have said that they’d love to see it again and lots of others missed the production because it was often sold out. We hope to have the same cast, a wonderful mix of New York actors and actors from this community. As the rest of the season takes shape, you’ll be the first to know about it.
During last spring and summer we held a ten minute playwriting contest. The entries were to be inspired by living in the world of COVID. I received over 100 scripts from playwrights all over the country. At the beginning of the season, we’ll be presenting staged readings of the ten plays that were chosen as the best. You will be the first to get the opportunity to see these plays.
In other news, I am being dragged into the 21st century! Our lighting system is being upgraded – think LEDs and DMX control. Since our theatre features contemporary plays, having lighting equipment that is as current as the material will be very exciting.
Also, there’s a new restaurant in town! Doug Langevin (chef-owner of Bistro Nouveau) brings his culinary magic to Enfield at Kitchen 56. Having this restaurant in town when we reopen will create wonderful opportunities to make evening plans – dinner then the theatre anyone? We will pass on any relevant Kitchen 56 updates going forward.
As we all complete a year closed off from most other people, many of us have discovered how empty our lives feel without the communal experience of the arts. Theatre is all about shared experiences, and we here at Shaker Bridge Theatre are excited to plan for that time when we’ll all meet to see a great play once again.
See you soon,
Bill Coons, Producing Artistic Director