by Shirley Lorraine
Entertainment Available in Creative Ways
Local stages are still dark, but some theater companies are finding ways to meet the need for entertainment and education in creative and innovative ways.
Conejo Playhouse in Thousand Oaks has been offering CPT Saturday Afternoon Live, a series of stand-alone workshops and webinars via Zoom Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. Many are free. Advance registration is required to get the Zoom invitation and log-in information. Visit the theater’s website at www.conejoplayers.org for specifics.
Also at Conejo, coming in August will be Car Park Theatre! An evening of Broadway songs, silent auction (bid via phone) and dinner available through Big Mann BBQ. All from the safety of your car! Audition information is on their website with event details to follow soon.
Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre is bringing a Safe Distance Drive-in Theatre Concert Series to the parking lot of the Ventura Fairgrounds in July, August, and early September. The live 75-minute concerts will be performed on an elevated stage and projected onto four large screens. Cars will be parked with safe distance guidelines. The line up includes Drive-in Hits, Samonsky Sings Sinatra, Forever Plaid Reunion Concert, Jimmy Messina and Friends, and Music of the Knights. Contact the service desk at 1-800-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org for more information and tickets.
Several of the theaters are periodically offering streamed performances of various kinds. Check your favorite VC theater’s website to get current information. Here are a few: Elite Theater – www.theelite.org; SPTC – www.santapaulatheatercenter.org; Ojai Arts Center – www.ojaiact.org; Camarillo – www.skywayplayhouse.org; Moorpark – www.highstreetartscenter.com; and Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center – www.simi-arts.org.
As of last Friday and for a few weeks forward, the Elite Theater is presenting “A Midsummer Night’s Stream” – a digital offering of the Bard’s well-known summer staple. The actors are all chiming in from their own homes, so the video qualities vary. The production is a work in progress. Opening night’s performance was still experiencing a few technological challenges, but Shakespeare’s words are always melodic, and it was thrilling to see “live” theater continuing. Register for a performance at the Elite website. The tickets are only $5.00 and, hey, you can watch in the comfort of your own home. Give it a try.
It remains to be seen when and if any of these theaters will be able to physically reopen. In the meantime, keep checking in to see what is happening. Your support is needed. All of our theaters gratefully accept donations to help secure reopening.
Of course, if you are so inclined, impromptu street theater (six feet apart, please) is still an option. Dance, sing, play an instrument, recite a poem, or tell jokes. At the very least, you will share smiles with others.
Another theater update – The Bank of America Performing Arts Center Thousand Oaks (Civic Arts Plaza) has announced that all live performances are cancelled until January 2021. Those holding tickets may contact the box office at 805.449.2787 or visit their website at www.BAPACthousandoaks.com for details.