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BWW Previews: Glow Lyric Theatre Introduces GLOW ONLINE


BWW Previews: Glow Lyric Theatre Introduces GLOW ONLINE With the whole world under lockdown, Glow Lyric Theatre cancelled their 2020 Festival Season, postponing their productions until summer 2021.

But, as Glow Artistic Director Jenna Elser says, "it doesn't mean that we will stop creating art."

Using this postponement as an opportunity to celebrate their 10th Anniversary Season, Jenna and her husband Christian created Glow Online, a new home for original digital entertainment.

We asked Jenna Elser to tell us more.

BWW: What was the inspiration for these new programs?

ELSER: We started with the Couch Concerts in mid-March, when the reality that we would all be social distancing kicked in. Really, it was an instinctual whim of an idea that came out of my desire as an extrovert to know that we are all still connected.

We also wanted all our audiences and former employees and supporters to know that GLOW ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE, and that performance and song can heal us and keep us connected during a time of great difficulty.
They've been very successful, in that people are getting to see our performers in a different, intimate, raw way - in their homes, with pets in their laps (or crawling all over them). The Couch Concerts just seem so wildly personal and vulnerable, like you are getting an inside peek into that person's life and world, and how and what makes them so precious to Glow. The things that people see when they watch a Couch Concert are the things that I saw in that person at their first audition, the intimacy we experienced as I worked with them as a director. Those are the moments the audience never gets to see, but now, through Glow Online, they can. And that was really the impetus for expanding our Online programming, because we saw how important the Couch Concerts had become. We wanted to give even more of that peek behind the curtain with Glow Online.
Tell us about the new programs.

So Much Drama with Christian and Jenna:

This raucous and insightful Vlogcast is a mixture of a radio show, podcast, and video blog. Hosted by Glow Co-founders Christian and Jenna Elser, each episode features behind the curtain discussions and raw, honest commentary about their unpredictable, humorous, intimate and challenging experiences as performing arts producers. (This one was a fun way for Christian and I to vent, laugh, and tell some little known stories from our journey with Glow).

Live Reunion Telethon:

BWW Previews: Glow Lyric Theatre Introduces GLOW ONLINE It's a Telethon that's anything but traditional. Join Glow on Facebook as we stream live, gathering an impressive guest list of past Glow performers for an epic, star studded reunion! Each Reunion Telethon will provide an amazing two hours of memories, cocktails, never-before-heard stories, 'where are they now' updates, and impromptu special performances. With the ability for viewers to make easy, live donations through Facebook while watching, there's no need to pick up the phone! While free to enjoy, you won't want to miss what happens when you donate. (This is basically our version of an online gala, without all the fancy fuss!)

Couch Concerts

This is the lunchtime lift you need each Tuesday & Thursday! Tune in on our Facebook page to hear Glow artists from all over the country sing their favorite selections from opera and musical theatre, directly from their couches. (Pets may guest star each week!)

How hard has it been to think of ways to continue making music and art during these times?

The hard part lies in honing in on what kind of music and art you want to make during these times. You really can't stop artists from making art and performance, thank goodness, as I think is evidenced by the flurry and onslaught of all kinds of virtual experiences we've seen coming from performing arts companies around the world. BUT, the questions for us were, Why are we doing this? What do we have to offer our community right now? How can we respond in a way that still fulfills our mission? Truly, I think there is a huge difference between creating and throwing out virtual programming out of desperation, or obligation, or a false sense of "need" and being thoughtful about the intention behind the programming. We know that we wanted to focus on the authenticity, raw energy and up close honesty that you can get from behind a screen, because that's also what we pride ourselves on in our performances. You're never going to get the essence of our work by watching a full, polished livestream performance or one of our archived productions over video. Glow is more than just what performances we put on. We are a collective of thousands of artists, administrators, musicians, designers, technicians, and managers that have come together over the last 10 years to create works that can spark dialogue and ignite change here in the Upstate. We wanted to focus on the people that make Glow what it is, and that's why Glow Online features up close and personal views into the lives of our artists and friends. Also, just a note - we plan on adding to these programs very soon to include special profiles of our amazing and talented musicians from our orchestra pit (yes, we have LIVE ORCHESTRAS for every show), and our world class designers, so I encourage everyone to keep checking in - Like our FB Page, follow us on Instagram, subscribe to our Youtube, or the best way is to get on our email newsletter list.

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