While social distancing is still in effect, the drive-in movie business has risen from the ashes like a Phoenix reborn! People are aching to go out and see the latest movie and staying in their car, six feet away from others, is the perfect remedy. So, what about live theater? Can we implement this same concept for theater lovers alike? Actor-director Michael Arden certainly thinks so.
Arden, who directed Broadway’s recent Tony-winning revival of Once on this Island as well as Spring Awakening, has started a Kickstarter to fund to raise $40,000 for a socially-distanced theater project called “Alone/Together” in Hudson, New York. The funds would cover housing, transportation, audio and lighting, and a private chef for the performers and crew over a twelve-day rehearsal period.
Arden and his company strongly believe in supporting local businesses and plan to stay a local inn called Vanderbilt Lakeside. The hopes is that this boost in business would keep the Hudson inn’s doors open.
Arden’s expansive history in the industry has helped put together an all-star cast of Broadway actors that would include Andy Mientus (Spring Awakening), Nikki M. James (Book of Mormon), Claybourne Elder (Company), Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family), and more. However, this is more of a target cast list, as the plan is to self-isolate all of the actors for two weeks prior to rehearsal so ensure there is no spread of COVID-19. The actors will then be tested for the virus, and anyone who tests positive or shows symptoms would not participate in the show.
The show will be an original production, and it is described to be an immersive, outdoor experience like no other. There will be various locations for the show and instructions for the participants on when and where to drive to next.
You can pledge today through the end of May with different tiers that include different incentives such as photographs, videos, admission and more. If you live in, or are willing to drive to the Hudson, New York area, you can purchase admission for $500 — while that price tag might sound high at first, it allows you to bring your car full of people to the experience.
The company is still working on permits from the state to allow for this gathering to happen, but are optimistic all will be approved due to their detailed plans for the health and safety of both the performers and the guests.
What do you think? Is drive-in, live theater the new Broadway? Would you want to attend this new, immersive experience? Let us know what you think!