Creativity during the quarantine
The "q" word for the day (or nearly the past year) is quarantine.
Yes, to varying degrees, people have operated a little differently due to the pandemic. Ranging from the new accessories (i.e. masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves) to the augmented use of technology, there are moments where operating in isolation is part of the now-normal.
However, when artists come and together and put their minds at work, it can put people at ease, and amazing things can come from such efforts.
This weekend (Saturday, February 13th at 7pm PST and Sunday, February 14th, at 2pm PST), the creative team of Cockeyed Optimist Productions is hosting their virtual play, While You Were In Quarantine (click HERE for more details). In addition to taking a look at finding love during the current times, there's an amazing and inspiring way in which the audience can help the cast and crew reach back and help others.
Directed by Maureen Lee Lenker and written by Lauren Gorski, the play focuses on the journey of Harper. On top of her 2020 celebration plans being cancelled, having gone through an organ transplant (which leaves her immune compromised) has her take a stronger position on being in isolation. On the eve of her 30th birthday, her family is focused on throwing her the ultimate virtual party with the excitement of finally meeting her boyfriend (whose existence she's been faking).
Combined with this storyline twist are the opportunities the audience can engage within the play. Be it as an active participant in Harper's inner-circle to the point where they could get called upon and either help (or hurt) her efforts of keeping her romantic facade with her family intact (those interested in this option may purchase Party Guest Admission Tickets), or via simply viewing in a more traditional manner (those interested in this option may purchase General Admission Tickets), there are even more encompassing ways to partake of the performance. With the cast starring Jamila Webb, Nardeep Khurmi, Ben Bergstrom, Amy Kravitz, Judith Kain, Kristin Avila, and Bryant Wayne bringing their impressive acting skills center-stage, combined with the production team of Eric Avila (Editor), Ali Walensky (Stage Manager), and Jessica June Rowe (Publicity Designer) blending their time and talents for the upcoming production, just as outstanding are the causes supported from their work.
All ticket sales are benefitting the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank (click HERE to learn more) and Miracles for Kids (click HERE to find out more). Given the impact of the pandemic and its aggravation of areas of concern related to food insecurity (especially for families, the elderly, and those who are more at risk of infection), these are the focus areas of the food bank. By the same token, assistance in the form of monthly financial aid, access to subsidized housing, and counseling services for families and youth, these are the areas of focus for "Miracles", as both are organizations the cast and crew are committed to supporting through the play's efforts.
Going virtual is a recurring theme during our now-normal. Given the option to be an active or relaxed patron, let alone directly support great community-focused organizations, truly sets the stage for a "lovely" weekend.
And it's a reminder creativity is still taking place, even during a quarantine.