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Pacific Conservatory Theatre to begin series of live online performances

PCPA InterPlay

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) will begin a six-week long series of virtual live performances tonight on Zoom.

The "InterPlay" reading series consists of six new plays running from Sept. 18 to Oct. 24.

"Even though our stages our dark, our lights are still on, and so it feels really good to be back in the rehearsal room, and to be back playing with plays, and storytelling again," said Emily Trask, PCPA Resident Artist/Literary Associate. "There's been a really joyful feeling at the theatre the last couple of weeks while we prepare to launch this series, and tell stories and theatre in a new way."

The online performances are not simply a livestream of a play taking place in real time. Instead, it's something much different.

"All of the actors and the creative staff are actually working from their home studios," said Trask. "We actually have artists and actors joining us from different zip codes, different states, from their own homes, but there will be a unified look to it."

Each show will be held on Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. and will be livestreamed on Zoom with an admission charge of $5 per show.

"I think actually this format has kind of blown up the box, the Zoom box in a way, and allowed us to explore these stories in a new, really kind of exciting unconventional way," said Trask. "This is a way that we can still tell you a story and bring theatre to life from the comfort of your own home and safely."

At the conclusion of each performance, audience members can speak to the actors, directors and playwrights during a live talkback.

The first performance in the series is The Agitators, written by Mat Smart.

In a press release, PCPA describes the show as, "The Agitators follows the turbulent and enduring friendship of two of America's greatest agitators: Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. The historical play of rebellion and revolution echoes powerfully in today's world."

Other plays in the series include The Thanksgiving Play, The Tall Girls, and Alabama Story, Things I Know To Be True, and Mother Road.

Due to COVID-19, PPCPA has been unable to perform in front of live audiences since March.

After the start of the pandemic, PCPA announced the rest of the 2020 season has been cancelled.

Last month, PCPA also announced it has delayed the opening of its 57th season to June 2021.

Typically, a new season begins with the holiday show in the fall.

Should health conditions permit, plans are in place to resume live performances in the Marian Theater in Santa Maria and the Solvang Festival Theater.

“In spite of our detailed plan for the resumption of on-site work and instruction, as we prioritize the health and safety of each company member, the hypothetical risks of a COVID exposure - its potential health impacts, quarantine requirements, and the impact on production and instruction time - creates too much risk and uncertainty," said Artistic Director Mark Booher in a release. "We are planning to shift our focus and conserve our resources to try to have ourselves in the strongest position possible for production in Summer ‘21. Our plan will be to produce four summer shows, primarily performing in Solvang.”

For more about the PCPA InterPlay series, or any other information, visit, or call the box office at (805) 922-8313 on Wednesday - Saturday from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. to speak to a customer service representative.

Article Topic Follows: Entertainment

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