Happy January! As you know, the pandemic seems to be ebbing; for each person the balance between caution and optimism is different and changing. As a community organization, we want to be mindful of making the best possible decisions in relation to the safety and security of our audiences, performers, and production people. We are following the lead of our city, state, and federal elected officials as we implement strategies recommended by public health authorities and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for our organization.
If you’d like to join us in encouraging the vaccine-hesitant to get over that hurdle, feel free to send a pic, your fully vaccinated date and any words to be added to our VacciNation wall of honor.
This has been a hard time for theater, especially professional theaters. Chicago’s theaters, large and small, have had to cancel performances, and, sadly, some have been forced to close their doors for good. As a community theater, we are blessed with little overhead, so we’re still here and our future survival seems unproblematic. As always, we are grateful for any financial support you may wish to offer.
With our August Staged 2021 Reading, we began a transition to in-person theater with our reading of Christopher Fry’s A Phoenix Too Frequent. Current conditions decided us to take some common sense precautions: asking for all to mask except performers, spacing chairs and so forth. This August and September, we took advantage of the safer outdoor spaces with our Pop-Up Shakespeare scenes in Nichols Park. On October 29 & 30, 2021 we returned to live, in-person mainstage theater with our 12th Annual Evening of Horror & Suspense at University Church. Aligning ourselves with professional Chicago Theaters, we had in place the following precautions: masking & vaccination requirement (for non-performing Players and audience), and limiting the density of our audience. Our First Friday Staged Readings have continued in person at Augustana Lutheran Church, but took a hiatus in January as we gave time for clarity to emerge about omicron. Conditions allowed us to return February 11, 2022 for The Terrie Gaia Plays. We read and sang for our March 4 Staged Reading of most of the first act of #MonteCristo2020, an original musical, by Susan Harris & Bill Hohnke, based on the perennially popular novel The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas.
Our Spring 2022 mainstage show (May 6-8, 13-5) was a live, in-person production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being #Earnest, directed by Corinna Christman.
We are recently staged our return to Shakespeare in Nichols Park, at the end of July this year: Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Susan Harris.
We’ve selected our 2022-23 Season, and we hope to be in person for all productions this year.
For now we continue to require proof of vaccination for all performers, and masking for non-performers when indoors.
We remain vigilant and hopeful, and we are prepared to make decisions based on current recommendations, as well as in response to changing conditions. As we have news, we will notify audiences via our website, twitter, and Facebook page, GoodNeighbors listserv and our personal e-mail list.
Here’s to a continued safe return to live theater into 2023 and beyond! We are so grateful for your support of our endeavors, and wish you all good health through this challenging time.