Are you ready for some… live theater in Philly? The upcoming season for the Philadelphia Theater community plus interesting exclusive news from Theatre Philadelphia.
Seeing, and being part of, some very recent live audience settings in Philadelphia – from Made in America to the Fringe Fest – makes you realize, up-close-and-personal, the rush to maintain that vibe. To make sure that everyone keeps moving and acting toward a fluent, communal social/arts scene. I could include food, booze, bars and restaurant dining and drinking in this, but, that is still a more intimate set of environments… So there. Last week into this, many of Philadelphia and the surrounding area’s theater companies laid out their 2021-2022 schedules, some starting in September, some later. We’ll get to those in time, and individually because to cram each of their schedules together would be a shame. Especially considering the hard work that every company director had in crafting a 2021-2022 season.
“I have never worked so hard, booking, un-booking and moving dates – our planning muscles are in great shape,” says Paige Price, Producing Artistic Director, Philadelphia Theatre Company, in regard to 2020’s virtual programming and working out 2021. “2020 was a journey and not one without innovation.”
Two things I can say is that, at the top of every theater maker and manager’s list for the upcoming season, is safety, masks and vax cards. The other day, in speaking with LaNeshe Miller-White (Executive Director, Theatre Philadelphia) and Paige Price, we spoke just as much about health mandates, vaccine policies and COVID regulations in the Philadelphia Theater community, as we did playwrights, grants and stage directions – especially regarding what types of proof that local audiences will have to show to gain admittance and how both directors are promoting the use of the Bindle app (not unlike the Clear app audiences had to show at Made in America, Bindle is a “secure wallet for your health records and an easy way to privately share your COVID health status with others”).
“It’s great to have something standardized, clean and safe,” says Price of Bindle.
The newsy part that LaNeshe Miller-White dropped about Theatre Philadelphia, and any upcoming Barrymore Awards-related events, is that come November things will truly come alive for artists and admins in that: first, Theatre Philadelphia will open up applications for adjudicators (those who make decisions toward Barrymore Award nominees) to re-start the adjudication program, “and get them seeing shows by January 1, 2022,” says White.
Also, beyond that inside baseball, White gave me the “scoop” about the mega celebration of Philadelphia theater (not unlike 2020’s celebration) for November 1 – a digital celebration of the year past with so many of your local stage favorites and a reliving of the last 12 vibrant (and often virtual) best, and most inventive moments of Philadelphia theater.