BWW Interview: SCERA Executives on Streaming A NIGHT OF BROADWAY “Quarantine Edition”
A favorite tradition of Orem's SCERA is A NIGHT OF BROADWAY--the annual concert that showcases local performers in songs from musicals. The show will go on this year in a special fully produced "Quarantine Edition" that has been newly rehearsed, designed, and professionally filmed especially for streaming through social distancing.
Available to watch the week of May 1-7, 2020, tickets are $8 per viewer (not per household or viewing group) and can be purchased at https://scera.org/events/a-night-of-broadway-streaming/.
Adam J. Robertson, President and CEO of SCERA, and April Berlin, Operations Manager/Marketing and Development, spoke with BroadwayWorld about the concert and some of the effects of the pandemic on the community organization.
1. Can you tell us about SCERA's tradition of Broadway concerts?
Our first "A Night of Broadway" concert was in 2008, and stemmed from a realization that combining our audience's love of showtunes with the incredible amount of talented performers in our valley was the perfect storm for a first-class concert event. It's been one of our most popular annual events, for sure!
2. Why did you choose to create a "Quarantine Edition," and how did that decision come about?
As with every other arts organization in the state and country, we needed to find a way to adapt in how we presented the arts. Quarantine can be stressful and isolating, and we have always believed the arts have an unmatched power to inspire and comfort, to transport, to heal and touch hearts, to provide important messages, and to make us laugh. The Broadway songbook--from beautiful ballads to powerhouse numbers to lighthearted tunes--does all of those things. As we were thinking about things we could do to bring the arts to the comfort and safety of people's homes, A NIGHT OF BROADWAY was at the top of the list. It was also an event we knew we could put together while following the state's COVD-19 guidelines. We can't do a full musical right now, so hopefully this will fill that void!
3. What are the highlights of the show?
Well, with the cast we have, everything is a highlight! I think what will make this quarantine version special is the filming and editing. Kendall Bowman brought in his professional equipment and was able to capture so many different angles and closeups. He even had a drone for overhead shots--that thing was flying all around the theatre!
4. How did you go about putting the concert together?
The first priority was putting together a stellar cast. We couldn't have auditions, so we contacted local performers who we knew had five-star talent and could bring a wide range of musical choices to the performance. We asked each performer to give us a list of songs they could perform, and then our team met and chose two songs for each vocalist from that list. Their goal was to put together a program that was a balance of upbeat, funny, and beautiful music.
5. Can you describe the precautions that were in place for the performers and production team?
Each performer was given a specific time slot for filming, and social distancing was practiced. There were only five people in a 450-seat theatre at any one time, and of course we didn't sit right next to each other! The filming took about seven hours, as each performer went through each song twice so the filming crew could have more footage to work with in post-production.
6. What can you tell us about the other streaming shows SCERA has been offering?
Over the last few weeks, we've gone to our archive of Theatre for Young Audiences shows and have made each available for streaming for one week for $5 per viewer. We have four world premiere SCERA originals from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 from local playwrights Chase Ramsey and David Paul Smith that have been shown - PETER PAN'S GREAT ADVENTURE, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, LITTLE RED, and THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE. There's been great feedback from parents who have been looking for something other than video games and television to entertain their little ones. It's been nice to know that kids and parents have been able to enjoy the magic of theatre in their living room during this unprecedented time.
7. How important are donations at this time?
Arts organizations are taking a huge hit, as are all businesses. This is the first time in 86 years that SCERA has been closed. As a charitable non-profit, donations and purchases of gift cards are always important. Other ways to help would be to consider donating a ticket purchase for an event that was cancelled instead of asking for a refund. Our patrons have been patient and understanding, and we are so grateful for their support of the arts. We know if we all work together, SCERA and the economy can come back stronger than ever!
8. Why should audience members watch?
We hope you'll watch A NIGHT OF BROADWAY and let us entertain you with Broadway showtunes. Your streaming ticket purchase will support the arts, too. It's a win-win!
One of SCERA's most popular annual events, this showtunes spectacular will feature an evening of classic and contemporary songs from Broadway favorites. The amazing cast includes David and Brittni Smith, Rex Kocherhans, Chase Ramsey, DeLayne Dayton, Deborah Bowman, Shawn Herrera, Allison Books and Bethany Simmons. A brand new concert professionally filmed and edited and complete with lighting and scenic elements (with proper social distancing of course), it will be the perfect mix of fun and upbeat songs, powerful dramatic numbers and beautiful ballads.
You'll enjoy music including "Beautiful City" from GODSPELL; "Vanilla Ice Cream" from SHE LOVES ME; "Home" from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST; "Telly" from MATILDA; "Days of Plenty" from LITTLE WOMEN; "She Used To Be Mine" from WAITRESS; "I Am Aldolpho" from THE DROWSY CHAPERONE; "Divas Lament" from SPAMALOT; "Words Fail" from DEAR EVAN HANSEN; "Lily's Eyes" from THE SECRET GARDEN; "Don't Rain On My Parade" from FUNNY GIRL; "The Impossible Dream" from MAN OF LA MANCHA; and more!
A NIGHT OF BROADWAY streams through May 7, 2020. For tickets, call the box office at 801-225-ARTS (2787) or visit www.scera.org.