As we recently noted, San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon has announced the titles for the Company’s upcoming in-person 2021-2022 season.
Co-Executive Director Daniel Thomas shares a few insights for ferry riders in this exclusive interview.
Cultural Currents: What were the major challenges in re-launching such an ambitious series of productions?
Daniel Thomas: Our biggest challenge has been coordinating all of the talent. We were about to start rehearsals on one show, were in the middle of casting another show, and had just had our season general auditions when the shutdown happened. We now had to re-estend offers to cast, directors, and designers that were made as long as two years ago. Lives have changed – people moved, booked other gigs, etc. – and each show became a jigsaw puzzle that was missing pieces. That said, we’re truly excited about the talent we’ve been able to bring on board for the upcoming shows.
Cultural Currents: What have you learned from the Pandemic that can be used as a positive force?
Daniel Thomas: The shutdown forced us to be creative in ways that we hadn’t previously considered. Not just the use of video and streaming technologies, but allowing those technologies to shape the kind of entertainment we provided. We had two teams of artists create entirely new productions that played to the advantages of screen-based performance, and many of us (myself included) quickly leveled up in video editing and production. We also found a new way to connect with both our artists and audiences, and I think we all found some reassurance in those connections that the love and passion we have for creating and enjoying art could survive and even thrive in a highly unusual circumstance.
Cultural Currents: Ferry ridership is up, and we are seeing a lot more diversity in our “Cultural Currents” community. Will the same hold true in the world of theatre?
Daniel Thomas: I certainly hope so. The online content we produced during the shutdown gave us the opportunity to reach well beyond our regular talent pools – over half the talent featured in our virtual shows were making their Moon debuts – and we’re looking forward to continuing that trend as we move back onstage. We believe theatre is unique in its ability to celebrate both the differences and the commonalities in humanities’ stories and to celebrate the incredible diversity of the people who tell those stories; and that those stories can resonate with and entertain, educate, enrich, and empower the audiences who watch and listen to those stories.