Whether you’re looking for laughter, Halloween scares, or stories with social relevance, local theaters are adapting offerings to an online environment, as well as expanding live and outdoor socially distanced options.
RINGWALD THEATRE PRESENTS ‘THE FACTS OF LIFE: A QUARAN-TEENY PARODY’
The Ringwald Theatre is offering “Camp Ringwald Summer Shorts,” a series of streaming shows designed to engage audiences while helping to support its shuttered theater.
The first summer short, “The Facts of Life: A Quaran-Teeny Parody,” revisits Mrs. Garrett, Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie, as they brainstorm how to recover from the hit their “joint” business, Edna’s Edibles, has taken during the pandemic.
“You’ve definitely taken the bad this year, so now you take some good,” Ringwald co-founder Brandy Joe Plambeck said. “So, sit back, grab some munchies and let Edna’s Edibles kick in.”
The cast includes Plambeck as Natalie, Joe Bailey as Mrs. Garrett, Richard Peyton as Blair, Jamie Richards as Jo and Yana Perrault as Tootie.
The show is available now through Sept. 13, with a “name your own price” option, at Ringwald.com. A link will be sent via email, which will have a five-day viewing window.
OPEN BOOK THEATRE COMPANY ADDS TO ITS LIVE, SOCIALLY DISTANCED OPTIONS
From haunted Halloween tales to a show with social relevance, Trenton’s Open Book Theatre Company continues to present live theater while its playhouse adheres to the pandemic closure guidelines.
“We don’t know when we’ll be able to gather together in our beautiful building again, but we know that theater doesn’t require a building,” Krista Schafer Ewbank, artistic director, said. “It requires a story, told by one or more performers, for a live audience.”
She said the company has been hard at work developing new ways to tell stories and keep its connection with its audiences despite COVID-19.
“We hope you will join us for the new theatrical adventures we are putting together for you,” Ewbank said.
In addition to its current driveway theater offering, “2020: The Year They Cancelled Everything,” OBTC will launch one-to-one virtual theater and parking lot window theater.
The virtual theater offering, “What Matters,” is set in Detroit, from 1967 to the present day, and follows the changes a black woman experiences in her life, as she reflects on what matters most.
“It is an intimate experience between one audience member and one performer,” Ewbank said. “Look for new offerings every month, including a season pass.”
For more information, got to openbooktheatrecompany.net/one-to-one-virtual-theatre.
Feel like window shopping? Look no further than the parking lot of the OBTC, 1621 West Road, in Trenton, for “Haunted,” in which two actors will launch the company’s spooky Halloween-themed shows.
Two performers, using shadows, light and sound, will interpret several spooky stories. Earlier time slots will cater to families, with the later performances catering to an adult audience.
Performances will run Oct. 9 to 31, with reserved, individual, social-distanced seats in the theater’s parking lot. A car-viewing option will also be available.
For more information, go to openbooktheatrecompany.net/window-theatre-haunted.
THEATRE COMPANY AT DETROIT MERCY TO HOLD VIRTUAL MONOLOGUE COMPETITION
The Theatre Company at Detroit Mercy will celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary season with Titan Slam, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25, a virtual monologue competition.
Two judging categories will be used: One for current Detroit Mercy students of any major, and another for alumni, former students and theater company professional guest artists. Alumni from the University of Detroit, Mercy College, Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy are all eligible to enter.
Each category will offer a $750 first place prize, a $200 second place prize, and a $50 third place prize.
Each entrant may submit one 60 to 90 second monologue, and upload it to YouTube.
The deadline for registration and video submission is Sept.18, with a link to the registration form, and more information, at udmercy.edu/life/theatre/titanslam.php.
The virtual event and winner announcement will be live-streamed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 from the Marlene Boll Theater in Detroit. A link will be posted the day of the event at facebook.com/DetMercyTheatre.