As the pandemic drags on — dragging business and entertainment down with it — local theater companies are shifting to survival mode. Several of them are promoting the National Independent Venue Association’s Save Our Stagescampaign to get Congress to include funding for theaters in its latest pandemic relief bill, while others are turning to fundraisers to stay afloat. But there’s still a fair amount of performance art to take in, if you know where to look.
LAS VEGAS LITTLE THEATRE
With the recent coronavirus surge forcing the city’s nonprofit community theater to postpone its next main-stage production, Brighton Beach Memoirs, to September 11-27, the company has turned its focus back to online productions. It’s presenting two encore performances of the Quarantine Monologues, which we’ve previously covered both here and on air. They’re scheduled Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 2, at 3 p.m., and will feature all 15 of the winning monologues from the initial run. Tickets and more information are available here. The company is also teaming up with A Touch of Mystery on a live-streaming, interactive musical, Deception at the Disco. The mystery theater performance is Saturday, August 1, at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased with ($50) or without ($35) accompanying food and beverage.
NEVADA CONSERVATORY THEATRE
Okay, it’s not theater, per se, but writer-director-actor Adam Paul, of naked-man-on-How-I-Met-Your-Mother fame, is producing a podcast in collaboration with the UNLV theatre department and its students. Called POD115, it’s an Orson Welles-inspired sci-fi series in which — get ready for a meta-mind-blow — a group of UNLV students investigate an otherworldly disturbance in the podcast they’re producing. In an interview on the university’s website, Paul said, “I imagined it as a live-theater experience that could be played on the radio. But I never got around to writing it. Then Lied Library opened its Makerspace and Multimedia Center, and I thought the popularity of podcasting might give this old idea some life again.” He added that working with theater students was a natural, because their acting skills translate well to the broadcast storytelling form. Nine episodes are currently available at pod115.com.
UTAH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
The annual event in Cedar City is cancelled for 2020, but the festival continues online. For instance, fans of the in-person play talks can check out the Virtual Seminar Grove, which will be "Seeking Relevance in The Taming of the Shrew" on Thursday, August 6, at 10 a.m. mountain time (that's 9 a.m. in Las Vegas). Participants can enjoy two actors talking about the challenges of playing Kate in one of Shakespeare's best-known plays. Grove chats are available live on Facebook or for video viewing later. Links to recordings and more information are on the festival's website.
VEGAS CITY OPERA
The opera company has been hosting a Wine Wednesday series of Facebook Live events. The upcoming installment, ironically dubbed “the Quarantine 15,” features soprano Marcy Ley performing arias while she cooks. (Participants are encouraged to bring their own — “best red” — wine.) It’s scheduled August 5, 5:30-6:30, and is free and open to the public. Find more information on the group’s Facebook page.