Northern Sky Theater Announces Virtual Season While Adjusting The Recent Schedule
While they await definitive plans for their potential fall season, Northern Sky Theater in Door County, Wisconsin announces a three-pronged virtual season to continue its mission of developing original work, employing its artists, and reaching out to its audience.
"This alternative season, as we're calling it, shows the continued efforts of our company to make as much happen as possible under these altered circumstances," said managing director Dave Maier. "Northern Sky has built its reputation on being creative and original. It's extremely important to keep our entire team in place, and this approach to serving the mission makes it possible for us to continue to do that."
The company was encouraged by participation in their recent virtual Raise the Curtain fundraiser, featuring several prerecorded and live events, as well as the popularity of their Northern Sky at Home video series which began March 18th. Their fundraising event raised nearly $110,000 in support of their mission of creating new work. The virtual season involves these three components:
Northern Sky at Home. Starting in mid-March, the company has been presenting daily videos online featuring company artists sharing at-home moments and Northern Sky songs. The company will continue to offer these posts on a regular basis via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Northern Sky LIVE. The company will use online live broadcasting features to present virtual content. Jeff Herbst, artistic director and actor, and Katie Dahl, singer-songwriter and author for Northern Sky, will continue with weekly broadcasts of "The Jeff & Katie Show," a feature that was first offered at Northern Sky's virtual gala, "Raise the Curtain Wherever You Are," on May 23rd. The show includes banter between the hosts on various topics related to Northern Sky as well as a weekly bake-off, songs, and special guests. The duo will "air" on Sundays at 4PM CDT throughout June on Facebook and Instagram. Future live offerings may include small cast readings of older shows in the Northern Sky canon or other content that could be done from the Gould Theater without an audience.
Northern SkyLights. The company premiered this feature at their gala event with a special video entitled A Decade of Delight. The video was a compilation of musical numbers from shows performed in Peninsula State Park from 2011-2019. The footage was all professionally shot by Bill Youmans, in association with Door County Digital Production Services and John Nelson, to be used each season for marketing purposes. Twelve shows and eleven writing teams were featured in the 50-minute video, compiled by Mr. Youmans. The company plans to augment Northern SkyLights with additional titles and will experiment with further use of encoring past production content as well as readings of works in development and new concert offerings. Northern SkyLights events will be ticketed to cover the cost of production.
Additionally, although the company previously announced hopes to present an abbreviated run of Dad's Season Tickets in the new Gould Theater, multiple circumstances related to the ongoing pandemic will now force the company to postpone the production to an upcoming season.
Northern Sky Theater contracts performers through Actors' Equity Association, the professional union for actors and stage managers. At this time, the union is not allowing contracts to be issued until more is understood about safeguarding its members under all working conditions. Door County establishments are also under advisement to limit any group gatherings to fifty or fewer until further notice.
Northern Sky's fall season schedule at the Gould remains on hold, pending developing circumstances: Naked Radio, scheduled to run September 11th to October 31st, with And If Elected, October 9-29th.
"It's so difficult to have to make these decisions when so many artists' livelihoods are dependent upon their work with us, not to mention the disappointment of our fans," said artistic director Jeff Herbst. "But we are thinking ahead now, and this virtual season keeps our artists and audience engaged as we continue to offer original content and develop new works."