One of our lovely staff members at Carnegie Stage is a playwright, and a few of us gathered in our theater space for the first time in months to listen to a reading of her most recent work. We were situated in socially distanced seating with our face masks on, hesitantly enjoying our short evening of live entertainment, and I couldn’t help but think of the past, present, and future of the arts.
I think we can all agree that we underestimated the unfortunately long hiatus we have taken from gathering in our performance spaces, but this time off has given m
any of us the chance to find new ways to use our spaces and resources. The arts community is coming together online, acting as a light in these dark times by providing performances through live streams, pay per view shows, and more. While some of us were hesitant to jump on the virtual bandwagon, we all felt the urge to find a way to immerse ourselves back into the performance environment.
Quarantine has given many artists the time, space, and isolation necessary to create beautiful bodies of work, and we can look forward to the chance to experience the art in its true form. But until that day, we will discover new possibilities of accessing art safely and responsibly, knowing that we are experiencing it in a new way with different expectations.