Inside JCPRD: Theatre in the Park and our NEW To-Do!

Have an idea for a small-cast show? JCPRD wants your submissions!

By Tim Bair

What do you do when you can’t do what you do?

I’ll tell you. You do what you do… differently! That’s what you do! And that’s what we’re doing!

Oh wait… you need a little background.

There were a couple of things that became very clear to us as we contemplated moving into the fall and winter seasons here at Theatre in the Park.

  • 1. We needed to be able to present whatever we produced… virtually. (Either by broadcasting live or streaming pre-recorded content.) Based on the size of The Black Box Theatre and social distancing challenges, we knew we really couldn’t count on having a live audience at all.
  • 2. We really needed a small show. Preferably a two-person cast. That way we could (best case scenario) cast two people that lived in the same household, and not have to be as concerned with socially distancing the actors! Great idea… right?!

Well, yeah… it IS a great idea. (At least we think so!) Trickier, however, than you might expect.

There certainly are several shows that allow virtual licensing, but generally, those are BIG shows with dozens of actors. They don’t really fit the bill. There are also a good number of two-character shows, but they don’t allow virtual performances. They don’t fit the bill either.

Argh.

(OK, you’re all up to speed now…)

So, what to do? We just couldn’t find a show that fits that very big bill.

Well, what we decided to do is… have a contest and ask people to submit scripts for NEW plays or musicals that fit the bill… from the very beginning! Yes! Produce our very first NEW PRODUCTION!

Do what we do… but differently!

There are a few stipulations of course. The new piece needs to be 45-60 minutes long, with a small cast (preferably two), never produced, we’d like it to be light hearted in nature (haven’t we had enough drama as of late?!), and it can be a play or a musical. There are a few other details, but those are the basics.

We’re hoping for a BUNCH of submissions, and in the end, we will choose the one that fits the bill most appropriately, and that we feel we can produce in December of this year! There will be a lot of safety protocols in place for the folks who work on producing this new work. It will be a challenge, but… as you all know by now… you gotta do what you gotta do to do what you do!

Our plan is to fully produce the new piece of theater and record two to three performances, edit them together, and then present it virtually throughout the month of December. I’m sure you can imagine; we are VERY excited!

Something new, something exciting, and little bit of light on a dark stage.

I hope you’ll join us (virtually, of course!).

PS: Feel like you got a play or musical bounding around in your head? Visit us online for the details of the contest at theatreinthepark.org. Submissions are due by Wednesday, Sept. 16. You never know…!