Activity in and around St. Petersburg’s stages is starting to ramp up again, as performing arts spaces innovate, create, and adjust their seasons on the fly. This week we bring you a roundup of theater news and local productions.
American Stage has not slowed down over the last few months, with a steady stream of virtual workshops and performances, including this month’s “Fairytales Reimagined: Stories for a New World.” Adapted from Grimm’s Fairytales by Sadie Lockhart, Patrick A. Jackson and Tiffany Ford, this digital performance is set during a power outage at Abuelo’s: Mateo and his older sister Isabella think there is nothing to do, but with a little imagination and the turn of a page from the family’s storybook, classic fairytales are reimagined and Abuelo helps Mateo and Isabella discover just how fun and powerful sharing stories can be.
The show brought its initial virtual run to a close on November 8, but was popular enough to warrant a set of new dates. It will play again on December 12 and 13. Additionally, schools can access the performance for the remainder of the school year, along with an interactive study guide, a teacher-orientation guide, and a live virtual chat with the cast and crew.
The MAR St. Pete
The MAR St. Pete, a multipurpose performance space recently opened in the Grand Central District, is quickly becoming a hub for an unending stream of creative activity, from classes to rehearsals to performances, but founders Heather and Dave Lamar still wanted to carve out time to help their community of artists.
“Imagine this,” says Heather Hamar. “Life is going great. You are an independent contractor making music for a living. Your calendar is full of gigs and you are confident that your income is on track for a successful month. Then in one quick swoop, all that confidence disappears due to something our world hasn’t seen for a hundred years.”
The Hamars have been hosting online telethons on the first of each month to raise money for local performers struggling to make ends meet.
“Musicians were fired up to be in the shows – not only to get their art out to the world, but also to help the cause,” Hamar says. Through their nonprofit, ProjectMAR, Heather and Dave are selling “Let Music Be the Cure” t-shirts at a suggested donation of $25 each, with profits to help local.
Performers themselves are also eager to pitch in.
“We opened an application form for musicians to start applying for help and we got 28 applications within about 48 hours,” says Hamar. “We had to shut it down soon after we opened it due to lack of funds to cover all the applications…what a great problem to have!”
St. Petersburg City Theatre
Kids 9 to 17 can check out SPCT’s Youth Intensive Workshop facilitated by Melissa Dunn and Austin Bennett. The workshop runs November 14 through January 30 – with topics like Basics of Theater and Theater Etiquette, Auditioning, Theatrical Design, Types of Performances, Vocal Intensive, Choreography, Theater vs Film Performances – culminating in a showcase where students discuss and display their new skills.
“I love working with young performers because of their curiosity,” says Dunn. “In my experience, young performers are very excited to learn about anything and everything.” She adds that “kids are sometimes a lot more willing to dive right into the quirky and silly parts needed to succeed on stage.”
Learn more at spcitytheatre.org.