By Meg Upton
Theatres around the country have spent the year feeling the pangs of shuttered doors and closed theatre curtains as performing arts goes on hiatus around the globe due to COVID-19. In Plumas County some performances are coming back — to the virtual world.
West End Theatre’s dramaworks is one of the entities trying new ways to deliver arts and culture to Plumas County residents in these times.
Last fall, the Magic Beanstalk Players (drama for kids kindergarten through eigth grade) experimented with an online show, selling household tickets to 70 households. It was a success.
Danielle Plocki, the executive director at West End Theatre, has decided on a new play for the Magic Beanstalk Players. It’s the online edition of “Dear Edwina” and registration is open now with first meetings beginning Jan. 19.
While dramaworks’ West End Theatre will remain closed to in-person drama classes this spring semester, the program will offer the online musical to rehearse and perform with the Magic Beanstalk Players, dramaworks youth theatre troupe.
“’Dear Edwina Online Edition’ follows the adventures of plucky advice-giver-extraordinaire, Edwina Spoonapple, as she directs the neighborhood kids in a series of buoyant production numbers for the latest edition of her weekly Advice-a-Palooza. Edwina and her friends share wisdom on everything from trying new foods to making new friends, through clever, catchy and poignant songs,” said Plocki.
This production is open to third through eighth grade students. Rehearsals will be every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 19. The production will be pre-recorded and broadcast mid-April. Tuition is $100 per student with tuition assistance available to qualifying families.
More information about the program can be found at www.dramaworks.us as well as the opportunity to register. Plocki is happy to answer questions at [email protected].
Meanwhile the annual Feather River College musical production will look a little different this year. For starters, it’s not a musical. Theatre instructor Jeff Bryan has chosen instead to do a play version of The Sherlock Holmes mystery, “The Hounds of Baskerville” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
“This spring we are not doing a musical because of the restrictions ZOOM presents,” said Bryan. The play will be adapted as a ZOOM/radio play.
“The cast will be helping to adapt it during the first part of the semester, and then rehearse it to record,” said Bryan.
Rehearsals had been underway for the musical “I Love You, Now Change” in the early spring of 2020 when it was shut down due to coronavirus in early March.
Those interested in auditioning for or being a part of the Baskerville show should get in touch with the instructor at [email protected]. The spring 2021 Feather River College semester begins on Tuesday, Jan. 19. The rehearsal-based class effectively runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from January to May 21.