What do you do when you can’t bring an audience to your theater? You bring the show to them — or at least the cast for it. Starting this weekend, The Empty Space will host "Hindsight 2020," a series of virtual cast reunions for some of its most successful shows, streaming them for all to see.did this come about?
Kristina Saldaña, project organizer and the theater's financial director, said being required to stay home has led to the downtime needed to make this idea a reality.
"Cast reunions are something our actors are always itching to do, but it’s pretty difficult to get everyone in the same room at the same time," she wrote in an email. "People are in other shows, they move, they take a break from acting. I think that has always been the biggest hindrance in trying to plan reunions so we figured why not now when people have very few excuses not to be home!
In selecting the shows — "Cabaret" (2016), "Geeks vs. Zombies" (2010 and 2011), "Avenue Q" (2012) and "Next to Normal" (2014) — Saldaña said she opted for ones that were at least a few years old.
"I also tried to choose shows that were well-received at the time and that people sometimes still make comments to us about. There are so many more I could’ve chosen and I might just do that if we are quarantined for longer!"
Each reunion will feature at least four cast members: Tevin Joslen, Abby Bowles Votaw, Alex Mitts and Julie Gaines from "Cabaret"; "Geeks vs Zombies" writers/actors James Kopp and Dave Rock and co-stars Guinevere PH Dethlefson and Jenny and Bryan Maddern; "Avenue Q" director Jason Monroe and performers Taylor Lozano, Lorenzo Salazar and Justin Brooks; and "Next to Normal "director Jessica Burzlaff and actors Bethany Lahammer, Adam Calvillo and Emily Candia.
Saldaña said the casts will offer a retrospective on their shows, discussing favorite moments and funny mishaps along with showing photos from the shows and behind-the-scenes rehearsal videos.
Donations will be accepted for those who enjoy the presentations, Saldaña said.
"With no current live productions going on and no word on when we’ll be able to start again, we, and all arts organizations in the country, will need that extra bit of help to ensure we can meet our financial obligations like rent, insurance, utilities and others."
Saldaña said that she's hoping that the situation improves and she doesn't have to keep brain-storming ways to create while out of the theater but that she's glad to continue reuniting casts "as long as our patrons are happy to watch and reminisce with us!"