Miami-Dade arts groups adjusting to comply with New Normal
Like every Miami-Dade small business transitioning to a new normal and excited to reopen its doors, local performing arts groups are adjusting to comply with health officials’ safety regulations and anticipating their long-awaited comebacks.
With all county precaution guidelines being met, Miami’s arts community is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, with a few performing arts organizations presenting comeback in-person theatrical performances and concerts.
For the initial phase of reopening for live audiences, Fantasy Theatre Factory at Sandrell Rivers Theater is creating a hybrid experience with in-person audiences for those who are comfortable coming out to the theater and a live streaming option for others who still want to be at home, said Larry Fields, Fantasy Theatre Factory’s executive artistic director.
“We have to take that first step as things get back to normal and be in the forefront providing that exposure of live theater experiences,” he said.
New adjustments that visitors are going to encounter are social distancing seating, forehead thermometer scanning with a 99.9°F temperature reading cut-off, disinfecting of the theater between every performance and even an increased air conditioning and circulation cleaning and sanitizing regiment.
“Since it’s a smaller black box theater seating arrangement, with our initial opening configurations we are looking at a maximum of 40 seating capacity per performance,” Mr. Fields said of the state-of-the-art performance space that can accommodate a maximum of 200 patrons in a proscenium configuration.
Building on the “Together Apart,” series, ONE@SRT is a new solo-show performance of actors, singers, dancers and triple-threat performers. The new initiative will re-introduce artistic engagement for audiences and artists in a live environment, with possible showtime dates as early as September.
“Aside from our new program, we are expanding our film series with more showtimes and looking at it as a more passive entry into our world of live performances,” Mr. Fields said.
Being a smaller organization, Mr. Fields said the theatre factory can be more creative and flexible when presenting new programming, theatrical performances and community activities.
“We do a lot of programing for children and operations within the community where we have an advantage by providing outdoor activities, which are lower risk events of contracting any kind of viruses,” he said. “We have a smaller bureaucracy and can easily adapt to different situations and quickly create events for our audiences.”
Feeling extremely optimistic about its new season 2020-2021 and ready for a great comeback, The Miami Symphony Orchestra has been hard at work and rehearsing for “The Comeback Season.”
“We want to first implement all (Miami-Dade) county regulations and we want to get back to business the same way we used to perform. I don’t see much change in that,” said Eduardo Marturet, the symphony orchestra’s music director and conductor, who recently extended his contract with the orchestra through 2027.
A regular Miami Symphony Orchestra season typically runs from October to April, with outdoor concert performances at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the Palm Court in the Miami Design District and at the Doral Park. Indoor concerts are held at the Moore Building with the orchestra’s major and finale concerts performed onstage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
The orchestra is just waiting to get permission to come back from county and health officials, Mr. Marturet said, and the local arts community and fans are excited for them to come back soon.
“I think in a very positive and creative way because it gives us the chance to experiment, surprise the public and between us play together,” Mr. Marturet said. “We need our acoustic reality back in real time and in person.”