In this exclusive interview, the company’s artistic director, Jasson Minadakis, reflects on how ferry riders may engage with this remarkable cultural resource.
Cultural Currents: How has the pandemic shaped your planning for this season?
Jasson Minadakis: I think we’ve learned that traditional theatre audiences are much more conservative in their return to pre-pandemic behaviors, at least as far as theatre-going is concerned. That has led us at Marin Theatre to focus on our playwrights as well as our community partnerships. We’ve also learned that audiences are more likely to attend specific events so we have focused on productions for the immediate time period that have a strong driver for single ticket sales.
CC: What lessons have you learned about safety protocols?
Minadakis: We have learned that audiences are interested in safety when they do decide to return to the theatre, so we are taking our ongoing COVID mitigation procedures very seriously. We are evaluating what procedures and safety precautions we have in place on a weekly basis to provide the safest experience for both our patrons and our artists.
CC: Any thoughts on how people have embraced the new experience?
Minadakis: I do believe patrons have become more considerate of one another and of our artists through our adaption process to our new normal. The vast majority of audiences have been completely understanding of the risks the artists take in performing unmasked and in being willing to take extra care to make sure those artists stay healthy.
CC: Ferry riders headed for your theatre may wish to take in other local diversions. Any advice on lodgings and restaurants?
Minadakis: We have a great “Our Neighborhood” section in the Plan Your Visit section of our website under the ABOUT tab. A fabulous listing of Mill Valley restaurants. A personal favorite of mine is just a short way outside Mill Valley though – Avatar’s in Sausalito on Bridgeway.
But before dinner folks from the city should definitely get outdoors and do some hiking on Mount Tam, beach time at any of our fantastic beaches, or see the redwoods in Muir Woods. It’s easy to make a full day of it starting outdoors, then on to some great dining and wrapping up with amazing theatre at MTC. And for lodgings you can’t beat Mill Valley Inn or the Acqua Hotel.
CC: Finally, how will Marin Theatre attract a younger and more adventuresome audience?
Minadakis: Our programming of new plays has always leaned us towards more adventuresome audiences and this season will absolutely be no exception. We have two West Coast premieres as well as a first American production for anyone who likes their theatre to be thought provoking and thrilling at the same time. The diversity and eclectic nature of our four productions as well as our New Play Festival will appeal to younger sensibilities as well.