Open Book Theatre Offers Driveway Theatre
Even as other businesses begin to open up, theatres must keep their doors closed. So Open Book Theatre looked for ways to fulfill their mission "to promote connection through theatrical storytelling" and found a unique way to bring theatre our into the community.
Open Book Theatre is proud to present DRIVEWAY THEATRE: 30 minutes of entertainment in your driveway. Invite your neighbors, friends, and family to your lawn to experience the joy of live entertainment. Performances dates are currently available weekends from June 27 - July 19, with the possibility of weekday evenings by request. Interested hosts can fill out a form on the website with preferred dates and times, and a representative from Open Book will confirm a schedule with you.
"Live theatre is what we do," explained Artistic Director Krista Schafer Ewbank. "We've had to cancel two productions, and we've lost a lot of income. Online theatre doesn't provide the connection that we love about live performance. We started to think outside of the box about how we might still connect with our community and provide some much needed joy. We were so excited to land on short, outdoor performances that will allow us to follow state and federal guidelines to keep everyone as safe as possible by limiting crowds and allowing for social distancing. We commissioned playwright Emily Rosenbaum to write a play, and are working with Sean Paraventi to guide our improv performances. We started work on it knowing we may never get a chance to do it, depending on how the state began opening back up. When outdoor gatherings were permitted, we kicked our planning into high gear! We're calling it driveway theatre, but any outdoor, level playing space will do."
You can choose from two different shows, both appropriate for all ages:
The Complete Canon of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Film (Abridged)
This scripted, fast paced comedy has two actors sharing the lessons they learned about how to survive in a post pandemic world by combining a wide range of post-apocalyptic tales. You don't have to know any of the stories referenced to enjoy the show, but those who do will have extra fun spotting the references! Featuring two actors familiar to Open Book audiences, Jonathan Davidson (Fool for Love, Emilie, Peter and the Starcatcher, etc.) and Annie Dilworth (Miss Bennet).
Off Book Away from Open Book
Enjoy thirty minutes of completely improvised entertainment as the performers take suggestions from the audience and tell stories, sing songs, and generate a whole lot of fun! Brought to you by the same team of performers that delight audiences with Off Book at Open Book, headed by Sean Paraventi, adapted for 2 socially distant performers and your driveway!
Open Book has to cancel two productions with the stay at home order, and it's still unclear if they'll be able to open their doors to audiences this year. "Driveway theatre is a way for us to hire artists, and hopefully recoup some of what we've lost," said Schafer Ewbank. There's a fee of $100 to bring the performance to your driveway (with additional fees to go beyond Downriver), and the company will put out a bucket and encourage attendees to donate. "The fee just barely covers our costs to show up. We're hoping that hosts and audiences will enjoy the show and be generous! But we wanted to keep it affordable, too. We know people need something like this right now, and bringing these shows out into the community is one way we are fulfilling our mission. Art is important, and can help us through these hard times. It's a great way to gather with your friends and neighbors." Hosts can skip the donation bucket by paying $500 for a performance.