Synchronicity Theatre opens a season unlike any other on October 5 with “In the Theater” and “On the Screen” options, and hopes to close it in person on June 27 with the drama The Bluest Eye, adapted from the classic Toni Morrison novel.
The goal, producing artistic director Rachel May said in a statement, is to reach more audiences and provide socially distanced opportunities whenever possible. This is the 23rd season for Synchronicity Theatre.
The “In the Theater” performances will have a small, live, physically distanced salon audience — about a third of the theater’s 138-seat capacity — for a limited run at Synchronicity’s Midtown space. Each production will be recorded and available to view digitally at home via an “On the Screen” ticket option for up to three weeks after the a show’s opening date. The “On the Screen” option includes access to virtual viewing parties and happy hours.
Audience members that choose to see a show in person will find new safety and seating procedures designed to protect them, artists onstage and backstage, and front-of-house staff. ‘”In the Theater” tickets are $35 plus fees for Bold Voices productions and $25 plus fees for Family Series shows. “On the Screen” tickets are $10 plus fees. Subscription packages are $100. Details HERE or at 404.484.8636. The Bold Voices series features contemporary plays for adults; the Family Series is, well, for families, with an emphasis on literacy and musicals.
Two weeks before each production opens, the Synchronicity Theatre box office staff will notify ticket holders if “In the Theater” performances are being canceled. That decision will be made based if the Covid-19 test-positivity rate’s seven-day average is higher than 8 percent in metro Atlanta, as determined by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Audiences also will be advised of any changes in programming. All “In the Theater” ticket confirmations will include a link to the digital stream and can be exchanged for “In the Theater” tickets to another 2020-21 show.
All digital versions of Synchronicity performances will be produced in partnership with Felipe Barral (an ArtsATL contributor), and IGNI Productions.
Synchronicity Theatre is part of a task force for reopening arts venues that has partnered with the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. It will use safety protocols based on the task force’s recommendations.
The theater’s safety plans include required masks for audiences and all staff; regular Covid-19 testing and daily safety screenings for artists and front-of-house staff; cleaning procedures that include sanitizer stations and shields for box-office counters; detailed physically distanced and timed seating procedures and maps; a venue upgrade to increase exterior air intake; and the addition of HEPA filtration for higher air exchange rates.
With all that out of the way, here’s Synchronicity Theatre’s season, in chronological order:
4×4 (Bold Voices)
Four weeklong one-woman shows created by Atlanta artists Terry Burrell, Danielle Deadwyler, Lucy Smith and Sherry Jo Ward.
BACKSTAGE AND OTHER STORIES | October 5-24 (on-screen only). A new play written and performed by Burrell, with direction and musical direction by S. Renee Clark. After a lifetime on Broadway and regional stages, Burrell (Ethel at the Alliance Theatre, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Theatrical Outfit) spills the tea in a joyful, sassy musical. Virtual viewing party and happy hour at 8:30 p.m. October 8.
STIFF | October 7-11 in the theater, October 12-25 on-screen. Written and performed by Sherry Jo Ward. When Ward, an actor, was diagnosed with Stiff person syndrome, a rare degenerative disease that slowly inhibits mobility, she turned to theater to tell her story. Virtual viewing party and happy hour at 8:30 p.m. October 15.
CHORUS OF BEARS | October 14-18 in the theater, October 19-November 1 on-screen. Written and performed by Lucy Smith. May directs. Smith explores one woman’s experience bearing her child, baring her soul and embracing her inner mama bear. Virtual viewing party and happy hour at 8:30 p.m. October 22.
RIP | October 21-25 in the theater, October 26-November 8 on-screen). Written and performed by Danielle Deadwyler, directed by Addae Afura Moon, with choreography by Anicka Austin. Described as equal parts performance and domestic drama that explores the collapse of a young couple’s marriage. Virtual viewing party and happy hour at 8:30 p.m. October 29.
A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (Family Series)
DECEMBER 11-JANUARY 3. Synchronicity once again welcomes the holidays with the musical about a year in the life of the enduring friendship between popular Frog and curmudgeonly Toad. Based on the books by Arnold Lobel. Jenna Tamisiea, cofounding artistic director of South Carolina’s Glow Lyric Theatre, returns to restage. Performances at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday plus six holiday performances. Schedule, more details HERE.
MIRANDY AND BROTHER WIND (Family Series)
JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 21. Spring has arrived in South Carolina and 10-year-old Mirandy is preparing for her town’s cakewalk jubliee. She’s determined to do whatever it takes to win first place prize, finding an ally in the legend of Brother Wind. Adapted from the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King award-winning children’s book with music and lyrics by John L. Cornelius. Taryn Carmona, Synchronicity’s Playmaking for Kids director, directs. Performances at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. PJs & Play virtual viewing party at 7 p.m. February 5, with a post-show chat on Zoom to follow.
BLUE ANGEL’S WEEKEND (Bold Voices)
MARCH 12-APRIL 4. By Lee Nowell (2016’s Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project). What if Hunter S. Thompson told Thelma and Louise to take a vacation? Two odd couple college roommates reunite to celebrate their 40th birthdays and head for Florida with completely different objectives. If the universe gives you exactly what you want, the piece asks, what do you do? Performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Preview at 8 p.m. March 11. Each Wednesday show is pay-what-you-can.
THE BLUEST EYE (Bold Voices)
JUNE 4-27. Pecola Breedlove, an African American girl, believes that all the obstacles in her life could be overcome if she just had blue eyes. The Bluest Eye was originally scheduled to close Synchronicity’s 2019-20 season. Playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly, Smart People) adapted Toni Morrison’s classic 1970 novel for the stage. Actor-director Tinashe Kajese-Bolden (Synchronicity’s 2017 Eclipsed) directs. Performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Preview at 8 p.m. July 3. Each Wednesday show is pay-what-you-can.
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