As part of July’s Theatre and Dance NI newsletter, we’re shining a spotlight on some of the ways individuals and organisations are innovating during this time. Here’s how Commedia of Errors has been adapting.
Commedia of Errors went into lockdown on March 18th. Artistic Director Benjamin returned from Chicago having had 4 months of international work cancelled and Clare’s research and development on a new play were postponed.
Our bi-annual outreach performance project ‘Plays Aloud’ was due to tour up to 30 care-homes over the summer. Since April we have been working to adapt and digitize. With Accidental Theatre’s facilitation, and with the dedication of our partners Radius Housing, we have created, tested and started rolling out live, interactive theatre streamed directly into care homes for older people, especially those with dementia who are currently entirely isolated. This will continue throughout the summer and likely to be repeated for December’s planned roll-out.
We have also been dedicated to maintaining wellness in our industry, having felt early on the need to stave off loneliness and support our peers and colleagues.
Weekly we host a virtual tea-break for 30mins with around 20 participants from actors, designers, writers and directors. It is uplifting and feedback has been hugely positive. With some describing it as a ‘life-line’ during the darkest times for the arts community in NI.
Additionally, we have spent time investigating our practice, engaged in skills-training, welcomed two new board members (virtually) and prepped for postponed theatre productions for 2021. This is along with our own individual practices as a playwright and director.