Hello again, readers, and welcome back to my weekly break from watching ridiculous vampire-and-werewolf TV. I’m halfway through Season Two of The Originals. What is it about supernatural melodramas that are just so addictive? I’d hazard a guess and say that it might have something to do with escapism. Because, y’know…..2020 really needs escaping from. Anyway — let’s get into the news, shall we?
This is exciting! (Especially considering that Disney recently announced that they’re planning to premiere the live adaptation of Mulan on Disney+ for the low low price of $29.99). I mean, nothing can replace the thrill and buzz of an opening night but it’s nice to see a theatre production getting some massively mainstream attention.
“We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able share our show with theater lovers everywhere,” the producers said in a joint statement. “Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.”
The show will be filmed without an audience in New York’s Longacre Theatre and features Jeanna de Waal (Wicked, Kinky Boots, American Idiot). Will you watch it? I know I will!
In similar exciting news for anyone with access to Sky TV, Official London Theatre has teamed up with Sky VIP to create a new series of 30-minute episodes profiling some of the West End’s best beloved shows, including Wicked, Matilda, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. No worries if you don’t have Sky — you’ll just have to wait until September 4th when the episodes start streaming on Official London Theatre’s YouTube channel. I’m particularly curious about Matilda as it was always one of my favourite movies growing up but I know absolutely nothing about the stage adaptation. Also Harry Potter and the Cursed Child because……..Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
So obviously the arts are in crisis all over the world, thanks to this seemingly never-ending pandemic, but the U.K. has been hit particularly hard. Over the last few weeks, I’ve covered the devastating number of venue closures and mass redundancies and my heart is just breaking. How much of the damage that’s been done will prove irreparable? The Red Alert Campaign and the #WeMakeEvents hashtag aim to raise awareness of the threat of job losses in the sector and to shine a light on the absolutely Trojan amount of work that happens behind the scenes to create the cultural events the public love so much.
“‘In the Bubble of Our Making: Reopening the Arts in Northern Ireland’, commissioned from SLUA health and safety specialists, provides an extensive range of practical measures that will enable performance spaces, including theatres, arts centres, galleries, studios and arts hubs, to re-open to the public safely and in full compliance with current NI Executive and UK Government guidelines and regulations.”
This is a daunting and important document so I’m not even going to begin trying to summarise it. But along the lines of venues reopening in Northern Ireland, see below. 👇
This will be the first venue in Northern Ireland to reopen since the lockdown started. The normally 150-seater has been reduced to a capacity of 20. But apparently the reopening plan includes an “ambitious global broadcasting programme”, so perhaps we can expect to see some or all of their upcoming events online in some capacity.
More exciting news from Northern Ireland!
Funded by Future Screens NI and NI Screen, in partnership with Belfast-based immersive technology specialists Sentireal and Professor Pedro Rebelo from the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, the project will explore the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to enhance the audience experiences in context of social distancing restrictions due to Covid-19.
Update 12/08/20: The Stage understands that Sveta Sugako and Nadia Brodskaya have now been jailed for 10 and 13 days respectively. The whereabouts of Dasha Andreyanova remains unknown. A fourth member of the company, ensemble member Kirill Konstantinov, has also been arrested.
On Monday, The Stage reported that three members of Belarus Free Theatre, a refugee-led theatre company, had been arrested during protests including managing directors Sveta Sugako and Nadia Brodskaya and acting company member Dasha Andreyanova. There has since been an update on their status, quoted above.
This Week’s Opportunities
Let’s wrap up on a more positive note, shall we? Some very freakin’ cool opportunities popped up this week. Check out the roundup below.
NYC’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery is looking for an artist-in-residence – A residency in an NYC Cemetery? Yes, please.
Artist in Residence Programme at Brigit’s Garden – Cemetery not your style? How about a garden instead!
Activate – A Residency Programme at Backstage – Great week for awesome residency opportunities!
PJ O’Connor Awards 2020 Now Open – Some excellent prizes available in this very well-respected competition.
Creative and Cultural Jobs Stimulus Measure Funding 2020 – The title is a bit confusing but from what I understand, this is essentially a grant opportunity for Louth-based creatives and venues.
That’s all for this week, folks. Did I miss anything? Don’t forget, you can send me your press releases at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend!
“Powerless” Experiences of Direct Provision During the Covid-19 Pandemic – I don’t know much about Ireland’s Direct Provision system, so I’m doing my best to learn about it, especially in light of the recent hunger strikes at a Direct Provision centre in Clare. Both the Irish Refugee Council and www.doras.org, seem to be good places to start learning more about migrant experiences in Ireland and the issues currently being faced by asylum seekers.
Creative Connections: Demonstrating your value and impact in an evolving world – Speaker: Jackie Bailey, Principal, BYP Group | How can you demonstrate and communicate your value during changing times? How can you ensure support beyond Covid-19? Participants will learn how to deliver value to their communities and communicate their impact to ensure sustainability. Jackie Bailey will introduce the key concepts in public value and social impact through her experience as Head of BYP research group. — Full disclosure, I haven’t finished watching the webinar yet, but so far it seems like a good place to start learning how to advocate for yourself as a creative practitioner in a world that struggles to understand the worth and validity of creative careers. From the Australia Council for the Arts.