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'The show must go on': Stage company putting on performances despite pandemic

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Posted at 2:47 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 17:07:32-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The stage is dark, the curtains are closed and the box office is empty.

"There has been a huge impact," said Tom Quaintance, Producing Artistic Director with Virginia Stage Company.

Unfortunately, live performances are on pause and have been for two months at the Well's Theater in Norfolk.

"That experience of being in a space together, breathing together and laughing and having a connection to the actors is just so important," said Quaintance.

Quaintance says 55% of the non-profit's income comes from ticket sales. They had to postpone three performances this year.

"Then there is the emotional side; we are all in this to tell stories, and it's been really hard for our performers," he said.

Actors, musicians and stage hands who rely on ticket sales are now being forced to take a seat backstage.

"When they are not doing a gig, they may be working at a restaurant or some other place impacted by this, too," he explained.

But the show must go on. Virginia Stage Company is still putting on performances, stampeding now to streaming.

"People want and need art in their lives and we want to make sure we can provide that to people," he said.

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They have virtual theater, online workshops, acting classes and even Zoom performances.

"We have had classes for kids and adults, and we are continuing to look at ways we can build experiences where people can interact with art," said Quaintance.

A brief intermission before a new act begins.

"We are not going to bring people together until we can do it safely, and so we are working on when that is how that looks like," said Quaintance.

Virginia Stage Theater could also use your help through donations. They have recently launched the "Gather Again" campaign. For more information, click here.

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