‘War’ On The Home Front: TheatreSquared plans new online options

‘War’ On The Home Front: TheatreSquared plans new online options

After one delay in the spring, TheatreSquared had hoped to open “My Father’s War” on June 17. That’s not happening.

But with so much uncertainty in the world, what T2 Executive Director Martin Miller can promise is two-fold: “Coming together again at the theater will be a joyful experience.” And those who are not yet ready to gather in person will have an exciting new opportunity this fall.

“We stopped our performances on March 13, just two weeks before ‘My Father’s War’ had originally been scheduled to open,” T2 spokeswoman Joanna Sheehan Bell explains the covid-19 considerations. “We initially thought that a June opening would give ample time, but as we know, the virus has its own timeline, and to support containment efforts in the interim, productions slated to open in June have now been rescheduled to new dates during the 2020-21 season.

“My Father’s War,” written by T2 Artistic Director Bob Ford, will take the stage in October, and the much-anticipated, Tony Award-winning Best Musical “Matilda” will be performed in June of 2021.

“Thanks to the flexibility of the two-venue facility, we will be able to resume performances in the fall and produce an ambitious 11 play season,” Bell promises, “which will include every title we have announced — from ‘My Father’s War’ to ‘Christmas Carol’ to ‘Designing Women’ to ‘Matilda’ and many more.”

If that’s good news, the rest of T2’s plan is unprecedented in Arkansas.

“Every ticket will now come with the option to either attend in person or participate from home,” Miller explains. “The experience will be familiar for those who’ve enjoyed a ‘Live in HD’ broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera: a multi-camera, high-definition performance that feels like the best seat in the house.

“TheatreSquared’s new home is a community space — and, as it turns out, the Commons is ideally designed for couples and families to space out,” says T2 Executive Director Martin Miller. “We’re excited about Fayetteville’s sidewalk café discussion, which will allow us to use the building’s expansive street-facing sitting areas for service. As soon as we can safely re-open the Commons, we plan to do so, most likely in July. “
(Courtesy Photo/T2)

“Theatre has always been about the live, in-person experience and will continue to be,” Miller promises. “For those patrons who choose to stream at home during this transitional time, however, we’ll use the best HD technology available to make our live-streamed performances intimate and immersive, echoing what makes a T2 experience unique. And, for those who have never been able to attend due to other barriers — or who now live elsewhere — there’s now a whole new avenue for access.”

Since T2 productions do cast Equity union actors, the union had to be on board, he explains.

“Equity is as committed to the future of theater as producers across the country,” he says. “This will likely begin to be offered by other producers as well — though with the broadcast-level equipment and talent we are assembling, TheatreSquared will be on the leading edge.”

Miller says patrons will choose their preference for in-person or remote viewing when they buy their tickets. For those who do attend live and in person, he promises the safest experience possible.

“It’s serendipitous to have just opened our new facility, with its state-of-the-art air circulation systems, wide-open common areas — not to mention four times the restrooms of our prior space,” he says. “And we are adding a number of precautions, including frequent electrostatic disinfection and touchless ticket readers. Of course, returning to full capacity will require us to have achieved meaningful benchmarks as a region to assure us that there is extremely low risk of community spread, and so we will continue to track those metrics closely” both for patrons and performers.

In the meantime, efforts are under way to reopen T2’s lobby and cafe as soon as possible, most likely in July, Miller says.

“We’re excited about Fayetteville’s sidewalk cafe discussion, which will allow us to use the building’s expansive street-facing sitting areas for service,” he says. “As soon as we can safely reopen the Commons, we plan to do so.”


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Read more about TheatreSquared’s 15th anniversary season at https://www.theatre2.org/

Categories: Theater