Artistic Director Statement
May 26, 2020
This year, the excitement of announcing a season comes with guarded enthusiasm. Will audiences be cleared to gather by the opening date of our first show? And if so, how many? More important, will the patrons feel comfortable attending?
As a theatre production organization, we have to ask ourselves, what is the most practical way to approach the next 12 months where we can be ready to answer any of these questions.
It's been an interesting process. For every question we've pondered, the standard answer is, "We just don't know," or "It depends.” We can spend an hour in a Zoom staff meeting and we are still throwing our hands in the air because things are changing quickly. And still, we don't know what the future holds for live performances; next week, next month, next year can change in an instant.
So what do we know? We know live theatre is meant to be enjoyed live. The energy of an audience is vital to our performances. What is so interesting about good theatre are the relationships unfolding on stage that cause you to laugh, cry, stir thoughts and emotions and ask questions. More importantly, the relationship between the audience and the actors creates a vitality that is essential in our craft.
To get more personal, it breaks my heart to think about a season with shows that may have to be produced on a streaming platform. And while we are hopeful we can be with you in a live atmosphere, we know the reality is, it may not be safe… or you personally may not feel safe. In a business that thrives on groups of people gathering, we must look to other mediums such as small devices, computers and televisions screens to share our gifts.
This means more adaptable entertainment such as small casts and small budgets, allowing us to transfer to streaming if necessary. It also means more original work since going online is often complex for show licensing. Our fall show, Every Brilliant thing, is the only show in our season licensed by a theatrical company with special permission to produce on a steaming platform if necessary. I
As for the rest of the line up, you will see mostly new original work.
We have always been excited by original pieces at Be Theatre, and have showcased the talents of San Angelo theatre creatives during our annual “24 Hour Theatre” every September. Also, we have produced several original Literature Alive shows and youth performances as well as last summer’s “Bootlegger Melodrama.”
It also means bringing our favorite improvisation troupe, B.A.D. Improv, to the forefront of our season. We will be producing more improv events with more bells and whistles to make it larger than life and more fun than ever for our audiences… live or, as we’ve said many times before, with the possibility of streaming!
We have the best patrons! We are so grateful by the support during this unusual time. The outpouring of love during San Angelo Gives brought us to tears more than once. Because of you, we are able to keep pushing through this difficult time and plan a season that works while so many questions are left unanswered.
We are uncertain, but we are excited. We are cautious but we are hopeful. Most important is the health and safety of our patrons. So while we navigate forward we continue to seek the best possible way to welcome you back to the theatre once again.
Elena Kent, Artistic Director