Amongst the chaos of COVID-19, another brand-new theater company has sprung up in the DC area. Pandemic Theatre, founded by local actor and theater maker Acacia Danielson, is turning to digital platforms to keep making theater. The group, inspired by the problem of how to create something “together” when here is currently no “togetherness,” found a solution in the web series format.
The company’s first offering is Shakespeare’s quick-witted comedy Much Ado About Nothing, with the story told in a series of vignettes on YouTube. The play’s five acts will be released weekly beginning at 7:00 pm Friday, May 15, 2020, and thereafter every Friday until June 12. More than 25 local actors will showcase the original style of the Bard, but with a new flavor—and all proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the artists, all of whom have lost gigs and income due to the Coronavirus.
Casting and production for the series are largely volunteer-based: actors vote for characters and scenes, and then these assignments are finalized by Pandemic Theatre. The artists have been given creative freedom in the interpretation, casting, and style of their scenes—but they will abide by certain character and setting conventions that the audience will receive in advance of viewing. Tickets are available online. New acts each Friday may be viewed by ticket purchasers, who will receive a link in their inbox.
Producer & Director: Acacia Danielson
Actors: Sarah Yarborough, Michael Dix Thomas, Rachel Felstein, Bess Kaye, Nerissa Hart, Kellie Honey, Aviel Honey, Mason Catharini, Dylan Arredondo, Elizabeth Ung, Erin Denman, Em Whitworth, Danny Cackley, Jenna Berk, Matt Castleman, Darren Marquardt, Suzy Alden, Meredith Garagiola, Conor Patrick Donahue, Kathleen Akerley, Ryan Driscoll, Charlotte Vaughn Raines
Composers/Musicians: Navid Azeez, Jeff Raab, Rachel Felstein.
(The actors listed above are the primary cast. A fuller list of credits will be announced once the project is launched.)
Pandemic Theatre is dedicated to offering eccentric interpretations of classical texts during wild times. They try to keep things light as a reminder of what binds us all together: the stories we tell. Join them for wacky and woolly adaptations of favorite selections from poetry, prose, and drama.