Indra’s Net Theater – News Update
from Bruce Coughran & Alexandra Frappier
Greetings Indra’s Net Theater fans, followers, and supporters. I thought I would give you a quick update on plans for Indra’s Net Theater as we work our way through this extraordinary time. First, a quick update on where we have come from:
In April, the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle posted their 2020 Awards on their website. The annual “gala” was delayed in February, and then canceled in March. They decided to post the Awards for the 2019 year and look ahead to returning in 2021. As part of the awards, Indra’s Net Theater was chosen for one of their four “special awards”. We received the Annette Lust Award, which acknowledges an artist or company that “has demonstrated early in its existence the potential to have a significant impact on Bay Area theatre.” Alexandra and I were allowed to do an at-home video acceptance, which is posted on the BATCC website:
In addition, our production of Copenhagen was nominated for four production awards; Best Principal Actress in a Play, Best Ensemble, Best Overall Production in the East Bay, and Best Overall Production in the Entire Bay Area (Theaters under 100 seats).
When the awards were posted we were winners in three of these categories! Our wonderful Nancy Carlin was awarded Best Principal Actress in a Play, and the whole production won the Best Overall Production in the East Bay and Best Overall Production in the Entire Bay Area (Theaters under 100 seats.) Congratulations to all who made Copenhagen a production to be remembered. Wonderful work everyone!
So where are we now? The Shelter-at-Home orders have essentially brought a halt to all theatre production in the Bay Area. At this point, as things are slowly starting to open up, we have been following the discussions, particularly in the City of Berkeley, but also in the wider Bay Area.
It seems clear now that the opening up of theaters will be a slow process. The Public Heath Officer of the City of Berkeley is indicating that even activities such as rehearsals will not be allowed until later in the summer, and productions will be allowed later, but with significant restrictions as we try to keep everyone safe.
I expect that larger theaters, especially ones in traditional “proscenium” type theaters (with a separate stage) will open first, as you can close off the first couple of rows and put a significant distance between the performers and the audience. “Intimate” theater, as we tend to do at Indra’s Net Theater, will be more problematic. We traditionally do theater in small spaces, with audiences in close proximity to the performers (and each other), and this will pose additional challenges.
So based on this, (nothing is for sure, of course) it seems to make sense to us to have Indra’s Net Theater suspend performances for the rest of 2020, and probably into 2021. We were planning to have a new play (a kind of follow-on to 2018’s A Time for Hawking, again about physics and art/ poetry/music, this time focusing on quantum entanglement) in the winter 2020 timeframe, but this will be delayed until the public health crisis subsides and we can produce the play in a safe and effective way.
Disappointing as this is, I trust that live theater will re-emerge when this is all over, and Indra’s Net Theater will be there to continue to explore the magical things that can happen in a theater. There is a statement by Joseph Haj, Artistic Director of the Guthrie Theater (in Minneapolis) that is going around the “internet theatre community.” I thought I would share it with you, as I totally agree with its message, and it is well said. Here is a link:
We will not be doing any formal fundraising during this time (although we do have expenses, that we are trying to minimize). Any donations would, of course, be greatly appreciated (and can be made on our website: www.indrasnettheater.com) if you feel able.
Thanks for all of your support over the years. I hope everyone is healthy, safe and keeping a good outlook during this challenging time. I look forward to seeing you all again, when the times permit.
All the best to all of you,
Artistic Director, Indra’s Net Theater