A MESSAGE TO OUR COMMUNITY
March 13, 2020
Dear Baltimore Center Stage Community,
Amidst the innumerable emails and notifications of closures and cancellations, I’m writing with an offering of what I hope will be a bit of a respite and escape from the madness of the world today.
Here at Baltimore Center Stage, our staff and artists have been—like so many of you—closely following the news, and wondering—what comes next? This question has echoed in our halls these past days as we continue to monitor the situation and make our plans. We don’t know everything, but we do know one thing—Baltimore Center Stage is Open for Storytelling.
Even while we must limit our live performances in the weeks to come, we are committed to curating and creating virtual artistic experiences and learning programs and delivering them to your inboxes and social media platforms. We will continue to do what we do best: share stories. And even if you can’t come to us, we will happily bring the stories to you...starting right now.
In the early 20th Century, radio dramas were immensely popular. From Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds to The Origins of Superman, Retold, families and friends gathered in their homes with a radio and their imaginations, to hear new stories every week. Today, the tradition of radio dramas has reemerged in the form of podcasts. Playwrights throughout our country have once again begun writing plays for an exclusively auditory experience. I’d love to share a few organizations whose storytelling I’ve come to love.
Make Believe Association (MBA) is a collective based in Chicago, and I’m proud to be a founding board member. I met Jeremy McCarter, founder and executive producer of MBA, during my time at The Public Theater where we collaborated on The Public Forum program together. He quite literally wrote the book on Hamilton and then immediately began the work of hosting live-to-tape radio dramas followed by conversations with the audience. If you listen to only one episode, I’d recommend the previously unproduced piece by the great Lorraine Hansberry, “What Use Are Flowers.”
For the past four years, The Parsnip Ship has been on a mission to “revolutionize the way you hear theater.” Committed to producing intersectional, exciting work that excels in the audio format, the woman-of-color led Parsnip Ship is captained by Iyvon Edebiri, a Brooklyn-based artistic entrepreneur, producer, and rising star in the theater field. Each episode features new plays and music recorded live plus an interview with the playwright. Take a listen wherever you get your podcasts - if you’re looking for another quintessential American family drama a la August: Osage County, take a listen to Episode 48, World Classic by Nelson Diaz-Marcano, directed by Rebecca Aparicio, with musical guest Jay R.
And lastly, our friends at Audible have been hard at work for years curating audio-specific versions of both your favorite plays and new ones. Start with an audio reimagining of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, which you may have seen on our stage in 2013. Hot tip: you can download a 30 day free trial to take advantage of all they have to offer.
We look forward to staying in community with you for as long as this crisis continues and forever and ever after.
We are here for you.
We're OPEN for StoryTelling
We understand that as schools shut down, students and caregivers alike are seeking creativity and escape. Over the next few days we will begin rolling out Camp at Home – a brand new DIY learning series for all ages that will feature video classes, hands-on projects, and more, specifically designed by our talented teaching artists.
Whether or not we are able to convene in person, we will continue to share storytelling experiences with you. In the coming weeks, we will curate a menu of theatrical experiences created by our friends all over the world that can be experienced alone on your couch, with thousands in digital watch parties, and everything in-between!
ADDITIONAL UPDATES ON OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
Given the recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and state and local governments, we have decided to cancel or postpone the following activities:
- Young Playwright’s Festival (3/27) — Postponed
- Spring Break Camp: Session One (3/16-3/20) — Cancelled
- Where We Stand Mobile Unit community tour — Cancelled
- Maker Night in the Prop Shop (3/28) — Postponed
Our next production, Where We Stand, will be available to stream from the comfort of your own home from Apr 2 through April 26. Click here for more details!