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Northern Stage Becomes First LORT Theater in the Country to be Approved for Live Programming During Pandemic

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Northern Stage will present IT'S FINE, I'M FINE by Stephanie Everett.

Northern Stage Becomes First LORT Theater in the Country to be Approved for Live Programming During Pandemic

The Actors' Equity Association, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Artists, the three major theatrical artist unions, have approved Northern Stage's production of It's Fine, I'm Fine by Stephanie Everett to run live, in-person on stage at the Barrette Center for the Arts October 7 - 25, making Northern Stage the first member of the League of Resident Theatres and the third professional theater in the country to be approved for live programming since the start of the pandemic. Tickets will go on sale to the public on September 23 following a private pre-sale period for Northern Stage members. For information, visit northernstage.org or call (802) 296-7000.

It's Fine, I'm Fine is a one-woman show written and performed by Stephanie Everett, who wrote the play as part of her Dartmouth Experiential Term (E-Term) at Northern Stage. It was workshopped in Northern Stage's 2018 New Works Now, won the Best Festival Debut at New York's United Solo Festival in 2019, and has been developed with the generous support of the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle, a major grant to empower women in theater that is directed by Northern Stage Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne and supported by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation. It's Fine, I'm Fine follows Steph as she comes to grips with a painful "new normal" after four concussions ended her career as a varsity soccer player at Dartmouth. Funny, heartbreaking, and human, It's Fine, I'm Fine advocates for compassion in the face of all of our invisible struggles.

Northern Stage Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne will direct the piece in collaboration with choreographic artist Beatrice Capote (Camille A. Brown & Dancers). Of the opportunity to lead live indoor professional theater performance, Dunne says, "We are deeply grateful to be able to welcome our audiences safely back to the theater. We are a close community, and although we have spent the past months with many of our audience members in our online programs, it is simply not the same. Steph's play, which raises the voice of a young woman coming to grips with the challenges of a traumatic brain injury, could not be more perfect for all of us to hear and feel at this time. It's a story of hope, and grace, and courage, all of which are deeply needed in this dark time. We dearly hope this live performance is only the beginning of the awakening of the American theater."

The play will be presented as part of Northern Stage's Tiny Necessary Theater this fall, a festival of four works, created with and by Northern Stage artists to entertain, to provoke, and to offer the community vital artistic connection. The virtual portion of the festival kicks off with Greg Keller's thrilling new play, Dutch Masters, which will be available on demand October 8 - 21, followed by the online version of It's Fine, I'm Fine October 22 - November 29, and culminating with a dual presentation of the comedies On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco by Anton Chekhov and The Naked Librarian by Marisa Smith (Venus Rising, Mad Love) November 5 - 29.

Northern Stage is implementing numerous safety precautions to ensure the experience is as safe as possible for their artists and audience. These precautions include:

Weekly COVID-19 testing of artists

Upgrading the HVAC system with finer filters installed for all spaces to increase the ratio of fresh air to recirculated air indoors

Requiring everyone in the building to be masked at all times except for the actor when she is performing, when she will remain 16 feet away from all other people

Mandatory health screenings and temperature checks for everyone entering the facility each day

Enforced social distancing with audience capacity limited at less than 25% of normal occupancy which exceeds current Vermont state regulations

Limited time congregating together as It's Fine, I'm Fine is 60 minutes and plays without intermission

Use of provided hand sanitizer and hand washing will be highly encouraged while on site

"Northern Stage was in a position to be approved for re-opening because our community supports the institution in robust and myriad ways," says Northern Stage Managing Director Irene Green. "The prevalence of COVID-19 to date in our region is low as compared to national trends, thanks in no small part to all of us in the Upper Valley following advised pandemic safety practices. Our Barrette Center for the Arts was built by the generosity of the local community, both individuals and businesses, and this state-of-the-art facility allowed us to meet high benchmarks for safety improvements and upgrades. And finally, with ticket sales impossible for the past six months, we have continued to receive generous contributions. These have come from individuals, businesses, foundations, and the state of Vermont. Our reopening is a testament to our region and the people who live here. Our thanks cannot be overstated."

The 2020-21 Season is underwritten by Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, who has been a season underwriter for the past two years. Alice Peck Day has partnered with Northern Stage to provide weekly COVID-19 testing for Northern Stage artists and is consulting with the company on best health and safety practices. Tiny Necessary Theater is sponsored by White Mountains Insurance.



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