Originally, June 2020’s New Creation– tentatively titled The Broken Bridesmaid– was going to be a collaboration with Satu Hummasti and Daniel Clifton, both excellent artists and faculty members at the U of U. I remember the last planning meeting in early March. The three of us were in a coffee shop. Just getting over a cold, Daniel had a lingering cough that sounded like a foghorn. (Oh the days when people coughed in a crowded room and didn’t cause a panic. Now I cross the street to avoid someone on the sidewalk and they thank me.)
Rehearsals were scheduled to begin in a few weeks. K-12 schools had just been cancelled. They got a text alert that the University was closing down. We talked briefly about delaying rehearsals to mid-April. Then May. Then the theater closed. Then everything closed.
After 20 years of making new shows every spring, it was weird to sit on my hands, doing nothing. So I went to the Commie Market (aka NPS) to see what the Godess of Firesale had to offer: she delivered a roll of bright blue rubber flooring, 75% off for a sales price of $35. Definitely a sign. Bought 2x4s and baltic birch ply. Started measuring my camping trailer. Figured that a stage so small and so elevated needed something solid for performers to hang onto. Talked to Cole about battery powered lights. Bought a JBL battery powered PA. Then it was time to see what Annie could do on the hamster stage. Curbside Theater was born.
At this point, it’s been 37 shows and 500 viewers. Two solos, two duets, working on new pieces. A 60s lounge feel with classic songs rendered by the amazing collaborators Raffi and Ischa. Experimenting with longer formats in a tailgate configuration. Rehearsing outside. Performing outside. Intimate audiences. Donations helping keep the ship afloat. Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time…