Covid-19 Drama won't stop our Drama!

While COVID-19 hasn't wholly stopped children's theater at Terra Arts, it has taken a toll on the kids who crave the experience of in-person rehearsals and performances.

The pandemic has emptied theaters across the country, including New York City's Broadway productions. Local children's theaters are no exception. Shows that were slated for spring performances went dark. In-class rehearsals disappeared from existence for months. Zoom classes tried to fill the void but couldn't substitute for the in-person experience of the theater.

Since the relaunch of in-person classes in October, children's theater at Terra Arts has been experimenting with rebooting productions in a way that honors safety precautions that need to be in place because of the coronavirus.

Even though theater problems have been more than obvious, the challenges inherent with COVID-19 have brought a certain level of innovation that could prepare them for future efforts to reach broader audiences and students alike.

"Because of the pandemic, we shut down in March," Kim Frassett said. "We had only been able to hold two rehearsals, and there were slated to be between 40 and 50 kids in the production. We rehearsed all semester through Zoom and gave a live performance of Mary Poppins Jr. to a minimal audience last summer in the garden of a church in Tustin. Because of the restrictions, we could not sell very many tickets, which we were counting on to offset the extremely high cost of setting up a stage in the garden. We hired a film crew to record it, but they were very disappointing in their follow-through!"

"We were hoping that things might open up a little, and the kids set out in October with enthusiasm to perform Shakespeare's "Midsummer Nights Dream" to reflect what they were learning about in "Thy Ancient Experience."

Unfortunately, we were not able to sell tickets to this performance either.

Undaunted, we filmed it for your enjoyment and hope you will support our theater program and the children who have poured their hearts into this performance by purchasing virtual tickets and giving them a virtual standing ovation!

We look forward to seeing you at a real in-person performance with Oliver in June! Limited to 100 persons per performance!

Thank you so much!

Kim Frassett

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