Portland Stage, a professional regional theater located in Portland, Maine, is one of a handful of theaters nationwide to have won the endorsement of the Actors Equity Association to produce live theater with an audience. “Talley’s Folly” by Landford Wilson, winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, had its first performance October 29 and will run through November 15, with a digital on-demand production available for streaming November 9–22.
“Working under strict Equity guidelines, the theater company knows its success in producing live theater will have implications for stages nationwide,” writes Portland Press Herald staff writer Bob Keyes.
To address safety, the theater installed a bionic ionization system trapping virus in its HVAC units; performers and crew are regularly tested; audiences of 50 out of 288-seat theater are required to wear masks, and the infection rate in Maine is low.
PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown asked Portland Stage’s Anita Stewart, “Is this a viable financial model for you, though?
Stewart answered, “Long-term, this is not viable. This is about providing a service right now. And it’s a service of the heart. It’s a service of the soul. It’s a service for the artists that we can employ. And it’s a service for the small number of people that will be able to come in and see the work.
The selection of the award-winning romantic comedy offers a timely and hopeful dialogue relevant to the current socio-political climate today. Set in 1944, it is a gentle reminder that 2020 is not the first time people have survived isolation and despair further inflamed by bullying attacks from family and neighbors.”
The set, which features a lake and boathouse is lit by multiple Tony-award-winning light designer Christopher Akerlind.
Adriana Chavez is the editor for Vacancy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org