Regional Spotlight: How Long Wharf Theatre is Working Through The Global Health Crisis
Now more than ever it is important to support theater and do our part to keep the art form that we love so much alive and as thriving as it can be during these unprecedented times. While the global health crisis has temporarily put the theater world on hold, pausing all live performances and large gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID-19, theaters around the country have taken a hit. During this time of adjusting to our temporary new normal, theaters are figuring out how to take care of their team, and discovering the best ways to virtually bring theater to audiences.
Through our regional theater interview series, we are checking in with theaters all around the country, talking to them about how they are handling these difficult circumstances, learning what they are doing to move forward, and discovering the best way for people to help regional theaters during this time.
Today we shine a spotlight on New Haven, Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre.
First of all, I want to check in on the health and well-being of everyone at Long Wharf Theatre. How is everyone doing during this difficult time?
We have a wonderful staff and they are doing incredible work holding each other up through this difficult time.
What do the days look like right now for those who work at Long Wharf Theatre?
There are a lot of Zoom and Teams meetings happening these days. Each department is functioning a little differently, but generally we are all connecting through daily or weekly virtual meetings, including a weekly all-staff check-in. There are still a lot of unknowns permeating our work and we are focusing our efforts on creating clear, compassionate next steps for our work and our team.
How much planning is going on both short term and long term for the theater? I would like to hear about the immediate plans for the theater, it's upcoming productions etc., and what the theater is hoping/planning for in future months.
You will soon receive fabulous news detailing our programmatic shift for next season. In the short term, we are exploring ways to stay connected with our audience virtually. We are also working hard to include artists and our community in the planning for our long-term reemergence. We expect to look pretty different next year, and want to set Long Wharf Theatre up to be responsive to the needs of our wider society during this time-and to our artists and community in the future.
Do you have plans to bring any previously filmed productions/upcoming events/classes etc. online?
We are looking at all avenues for connection with our audience, though we find the quality of most of our archival videos to be subpar for digital presentation. Our focus is much more on generating new content that can be delivered to our patrons in new and exciting ways.
What is the best way for people to help Long Wharf Theatre right now?
Buy a $20 ticket to the upcoming Staged at Home concert, engage with us on social media and tell us some of your favorite LWT memories, perform one of the plays on playathome.org with your family, and/or consider making a donation to LWT in honor of an artist or staff member you adore.
The thing we miss the most right now is the thing theatre is so good at providing: human connection. Finding ways to connect with our staff, our artists, would make such a beautiful impact on the world.