Like most arts organizations and live entertainment outlets, we’re adjusting to a new reality in not being able to do the one thing that makes us, well, us: bringing a group of people together for a collective experience. Nothing can replace the dynamic, emergent, and communal magic of a live event (even though people have been trying to ring that death-bell for 2,500 years) but in a time like this we need to adapt in order to continue to bring people ‘together,’ to tell stories, to provide an outlet to our artists, and to remain active within our community.
Since we began to practice social distancing we’ve been hosting online content: from collaborating with The Florida Bjorkestra on cover songs and musical numbers to hosting time-lapse videos of painting and mask-making to playing online MadLibs with Shakespeare performed by Giles Davies.
We’ve launched two new online series to add to our growing collection: One From the Vaults and Socially-Distant Soliloquies.
In One From the Vaults, we collect personal stories from our artists while in self-isolation about their favorite moments and experiences working with the company in creating some of our most iconic performances over the past 21 years. These will be a mix of written, photo-essay, and video stories with an emphasis on mementoes and memorabilia from those shows living in those artist’s homes and, whenever possible, video clips from those productions. Artistic Associate Paul Potenza is the first to share his story with man more in the works.
Socially-Distant Soliloquies is in part inspired by the wild success of the end result of our MadLib the Bard! game and in part by the successful Shakespeare Solos series on the Guardian’s website that uses popular actors from British stage and screen. We have invited an initial group of 21 performers from our past Shakespeare hits to take part by choosing any set speech, soliloquy, or sonnet they wish and performing it in a mundane (and socially distant) environment like an empty playground, their front porch, or while on a neighborhood walk for the camera. Ned Averill-Snell was our premiere artist, and already in the pipeline for the series are Midsummer alumni Cornelio Aguilera, Matt Acquard, Patrick A. Jackson, Sadie Lockhart, Kara Sotakoun, Katrina Stevenson among many other surprises from past Jobsite Shakespeare productions.