The Show Must Go On – safely, during a pandemic.
Suzie Boyd and DeLeon Grabowski in “Tech Support”
Against a backdrop of social restrictions and loneliness, many Senior Theatres are moving their work online, and you can too!
It’s a great way to keep your skills honed, stay connected to others, and entertain. Best of all, the magic of online performances is that they can reach a potentially world-wide audience!
If you’re feeling a bit nervous about how to start, we’re here to help.
1) Resources and tips
Whether in real life or online, start with classes. Learn the fundamentals of teaching, adapt them to the online platform, and then move from practice to production.
- If you’re new to teaching Senior Theatre or need a refresher, you’ll find the best practices with this handy TipSheet.
- Early in the pandemic, Bonnie L. Vorenberg presented a webinar demonstrating how to conduct an online Senior Theatre class. You can watch a recording.
- In this TipSheet, we share some tips and tricks — things we learned producing our first online performance — with you.
- Bonnie L. Vorenberg presented this webinar, presented by The International Council on Active Aging® which is an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry. It supports organizations and professionals that develop wellness environments and services for adults over 50. The webinar is free, but does require registration.
- Here’s an informative article by Bonnie L. Vorenberg, published in The Journal on Active Aging. November/December 2020, Vol. 19 no. 7
2) Choose your play!
Characteristics of plays that work well online include:
- Small casts
- Focus on character and plot
- Few technical elements
- Plays with limited movement
- Plays where action can be done vocally, such as with Radio Theatre.
The marvelous news is that most of our plays already meet these criteria!
See a list plays that work well online here.
3) Set up royalties, cast copies, and get a Streaming License
First, a play performed online has all of the same requirements as a play performed in person. Whether or not you are charging your audience, you still must pay royalties for each performance. Cast, crew and directors must all have their own copies of the script. Cast copies are available for purchase at a much lower cost. It is illegal to copy and distribute one script.
Second, to further protect our playwrights, to perform a script online,we require a Streaming License. It’s a simple process. The first thing you should do is contact us. After we answer all of your questions, we’ll have you fill out this simple form which asks a few basic questions about your intentions.
4) We are here to help you
No matter how small or large your question or concern, we are here to help you in any way. Don’t hesitate to contact us.