Cotuit Center for the Arts has announced a “robust and safely distanced” performance schedule on the main stage and outdoors, kicking off Saturday, Aug. 8.
“The last time a live audience enjoyed a performance in our main theater was February 29 when the Bruce Marshall Blues Band performed and the last performance in the Black Box theater took place on March 1, the date ‘Church and State’ closed,” said David Kuehn, executive director. “Our planned productions of ‘Tommy’ on the main stage and ‘Death and the Maiden’ in the Black Box were literally canceled two days before the shows were set to open and the cast of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ was in rehearsal and nearly performance ready. When we open our doors for performances again on August 8 it will have been 160 days since performers and audiences have shared an experience in person.”
On Aug. 8 the center will present “Restoring My African Soul,” a multi-media performance addressing an artist’s struggle from black shame to African American pride through art and poetry. This performance is the inaugural presentation of a five-part monthly series titled “Black Lives Matter: A Series of Consciousness Raising Events and Conversations with Robin and Jim Miller.”
“Piece by Piece V: Demonstration 2020: Ddigital Collage” will also be premiered that evening.
The following Saturday, Aug. 15, the center will present the “Tommy Bee Maiden” Cabaret via live stream. This event will feature pre-recorded performances recorded last week on the Cotuit stage interspersed with conversations between David Kuehn and the directors of the three shows that were performance ready but canceled at the last minute due to COVID-19. The directors include Tristan DiVincenzo (“Tommy”), Melinda Gallant (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), and Bob Bock (“Death and the Maiden”). When these three shows were canceled in March Kuehn promised the actors a cabaret style show where each singer would choose their own song or duet to be performed in the theater.
The center will also host several events outdoors on the lawn area between the Black Box and main theater building, including the 2-Person play “Zoo Story” featuring Beau Jackett and Christopher Edwards and directed by Steve Ross.
“Safety is our primary concern” said Kuehn. “We have developed a reopening plan that ensures the safety and well-being of everyone. Patrons. Guests. Artists. Instructors. Performers. Staff.”
Seating will be extremely limited and all audience members will be required to wear a mask during the performances. The inside of the main theater has been completely reconfigured to maximize safety protocols while enhancing the audience experience. Cafe tables and chairs and balcony seating will be arranged so that only parties having quarantined together will be seated together. The new configuration will allow for increased flexibility.
Streaming of many programs will be available and details regarding the type of streaming will be found on the Center’s website, www.artsonthecape.org.
In other news, classes have been ramping up at the center over the past weeks,i ncluding in-person small-size classes and workshops here on campus, as well as virtual classes on the Zoom platform. Offerings include visual art, music, performance, writing, metalsmithing, and stained glass. The new McGraw Family Ceramic Studio is up and running, offering wheel, sculpture, and hand-building classes, and Open Studio hours have resumed. All in-person classes observe social distancing protocols, and masks must be worn. Private instruction for individuals or family pods is available upon request.
Gallery exhibitions are free and open to the public observing social distancing protocols Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Individual and group docent tours guided by Center box office manager Jason Mellin will be available by appointment. “More Than ENOUGH,” artist Jane Lincoln’s three-part exploration of color and relationships, as well as current events, opens Wednesday, Aug. 12 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 19. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free.
Check out the full schedule online.
Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28, Cotuit,. For more information, visit artsonthecape.org or call 508-428-0669.