Inside JCPRD: Theatre in the Park and online dating. YIKES!

"And to all… a SWIPE RIGHT” by Sarah Montoya and Kim Kershner takes the prize for the first annual ITC contest.

By Tim Bair

It’s been days… NO, weeks… NO, MONTHS since we’ve had the joy of presenting live theater in our Theatre in the Park world. It’s been agonizing! And frankly… we just couldn’t take it any longer!

You may have heard; we came up with a new idea. Pivot! (Ok, the pivot thing is not so new… everyone has been doing it since March!) Nonetheless, we did a quick pivot-step and decided to have a contest. An Innovative Theatre Challenge contest!

We asked area playwrights to submit a 45-60-minute script of either a play or musical that we would rehearse, produce, film, and broadcast in the month of December. And guess what? We got 14 submissions! (This town is FULL of talent!) We narrowed it down to three and then a month later we received the final versions of the three scripts. And now… WE HAVE A WINNER! Drum-roll, please… “And to all… a SWIPE RIGHT” by Sarah Montoya and Kim Kershner takes the prize for the first annual ITC contest!

It’s a very sweet show. Here’s a little sneak peek:

Dating is hard. Especially in the age of virtual meetings and endless swiping. Swipe left? Swipe right? Whew. It’s a crap shoot. But then… someone catches your eye! Enter Jordan (a self-professed “Grinch”) and Taylor (owner of a delightful reindeer-antlered-hat… ‘nough said). Is it possible that Taylor can crack Jordan’s bah-humbug crusted heart and plant the seed of Christmas cheer? Or will it end up being just another cheer-less holiday? After an endless stream of left swipes… this might be the “right” one!

 Sounds fun, right?!

And now, it’s off to the races! Auditions, workshops, rehearsals; there’s a LOT to do!

This will be a first for TIP – all this filming business. Our goal is to film the finished product a number of times and then edit the film for the best “takes.” We’ll put it all together, and then broadcast the production mid-December at what would have been the official curtain time for the live production. We’ll broadcast a total of seven times at curtain time, and then we’ll make the show available on-demand. You’ll be able to watch it as many times as you like!

Oh yeah, this will be a great way for everyone who loves TIP to support us. Right from your easy chair! (Wait, wait… you could take a blanket out in the back yard and watch it on your iPad if you’re REALLY missing TIP like we are! You know… blanket… grass… outside. If I’m in the neighborhood I could always drop by and throw a frisbee at you over your fence. Just sayin.)

Ok, we know. Watching a filmed version of live theatre is not as good as watching theater live and in person. But you know what? This is good for right now! Things will change… and we will be there ready to go when they do. But right now- this will be fun! (And we’ve got LOTS of COVID-19 protocols in place for moving through our rehearsal and filming. Not to worry!)

We’re so happy to be creating something new and sharing the talent of local writers in a fun and creative way.

Keep your eyes open ( for more details as we move through the process of getting this delightful new show on its feet.

I sure hope you will join us on Dec. 11 from the comfort of your own home as we proudly present “And to all… a SWIPE RIGHT!” For more information, please visit