As vaccinations and an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have seen many use less masks, live performances are slowly returning. While Broadway won’t officially return until September, Radio City Music Hall will reopen on June 19 to host the final night of the Tribeca Film Festival (guests must be vaccinated). Across New York, venues like Park Avenue Armory and St. Ann’s Warehouse are already experimenting with socially distant open-air performances in an attempt to cautiously revive live theater.
Last year the summer stick theater festivals were canceled across the board, but this season they’re coming back, albeit with some adjustments. The Massachusetts Williamstown Theater Festival will have all of its shows outdoors, while the Utah Shakespeare Festival requires masks and offers concessions only outdoors. While the summer art season won’t look quite like 2019, theater lovers are on the verge of a welcome awakening.
“Ring of Fire” at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater
This Grand Lake, Colorado theater is hosting its 2021 indoor season and opens with Johnny Cash’s jukebox musical “Ring of Fire,” which debuted on Broadway in 2006. The musical with cash classics like “I. Walk the Line and Folsom Prison Blues begin a season that lasts until September and includes Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Little Shop of Horrors. Starts June 4, $ 45; rockymountainrep.com.
“Out on the Main: Nine Solo Pieces by Black Dramatists” at the Williamstown Theater Festival
This prestigious Berkshires festival has shaped many future stars and premiered Broadway shows such as Bradley Cooper’s headlined production of The Elephant Man. When it returns for a personal season, the debut show will be the world premiere of “Outside on Main,” directed by Wardell Julius Clark, Awoye Timpo and Candis C. Jones and curated by playwright Robert O ‘. Hara. Each performance consists of three 30-minute pieces, all written by black writers for color performers. The season starts on July 6th. The festival tickets are priced at $ 100 each and will go on sale on June 22nd. wtfestival.org/shows-events/.
“Pericles” at the Utah Shakespeare Festival
This Shakespeare festival, which is part of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, will open its 60th anniversary season “Pericles.” This season, which runs from June to October, also features Shakespeare classics such as Richard III and The Comedy of Mistakes, as well as some off-topic themes such as Pirates of Penzance and Ragtime. The season kicks off June 21, with tickets starting at $ 9. bard.org.
“The Magic Flute” at the Glimmerglass Festival
This Cooperstown, NY opera institution is moving shows from their traditional theater to a redesigned outdoor area. The season kicks off with a new version of “The Magic Flute,” but what seems to be the jewel of the festival is “The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson,” a world premiere starring Denyce Graves about the life of the founder of the National Negro Opera Company in Dawson Year 1941. The season kicks off July 15, with tickets starting at $ 80 for a socially detached seat that can seat up to four people. glimmerglass.org.
“A Thousand Ways (Part Two): An Encounter” in the public theater
In December, the New York Public Theater made its debut with the socially distant piece “A Thousand Ways (Part 1): An Encounter”, which connected the audience to one another via a telephone line. “Part One” was created by Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone of the Brooklyn Theater Company 600 Highwaymen and was the first in a trilogy. Now personal participants can experience “A Thousand Ways (Part Two)”. In this experimental work the participants are brought together and follow the instructions to create a private work. June 8th-Aug. 15, $ 15; publictheater.org.
“Send what up when it goes down” from BAM
The monumental work by playwright Aleshea Harris, which debuted on Broadway in 2018, testifies to the epidemic of the black death from racial violence. With a permeable boundary between audience and actors, the play enables an emotional experience of discussion and healing. The production is presented by BAM and Playwrights Horizons in association with the Movement Theater Company. Check the website for the June opening date; bam.org.