LONDONDERRY — With challenges facing live performance venues these days, a local theatre group has found a novel way to keep live performance alive and well and coming to a nearby parking lot.
Ovation Theatre Company presents "A Chorus Line" in three performances on Friday, July 24, Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Londonderry Middle School parking lot at 313 Mammoth Road.
The unique performances will invite audiences to drive to the school lot and watch the show.
"A Chorus Line" was previously announced back in January and with the coronavirus challenges, performances had to take on a new approach.
With a new creative team in place and a cast from all over the area, performers will take to a stage set up on the parking lot of the school, with socially-distanced spaces for vehicles to park and watch.
Audience members are asked to bring their own seating and will remain in their own reserved spot.
To prepare for "A Chorus Line" cast and crew had to hold virtual rehearsals over the past several months. Show choreographers created online dance instruction and cast members learned their parts individually, sending back videos for critique.
In June, the cast gathered safely outdoors at Ovation's Harvey Road space, all the while maintaining safe distances, having temperatures checked, wearing masks and gloves and staying outdoors as much as possible.
"'A Chorus Line' is a show that lends itself nicely to physical distancing, for the most part, with solo songs, monologues and dances," an Ovation statement read. "For the productions, the cast will employ face shields and even gloves when they can't maintain 6-feet of separation; this obviously creates a different' look and feel, but they are determined to stage an amazing production and they have the talent and energy to make that happen."
The show is directed by Meg Gore, Ovation's Artistic Director, with musical direction by Kevin Fisher. Betsy Brown and Tim Gore serve as co-stage managers and are also in the cast. Choreography is by Adam Furgel, Katy Gore, and Joey Tannalfo. All three are also in the cast.
Other cast members include: Alyssa Beaulieu, Michael Crowley, Michaela Horan, Ryan Carrigan, Harrison Christilles, Tracy Hickey, Annalise Kuhlmann, Jenna Sullivan, Cailean Anderson, O'Niyah Hamilton, Mykaila Judge, Cecilia Lomanno, Vera Backman, Ella Burroughs, Emma Cate, Evelyn Morin, Jonathan Uber, Abigale Maroun and Zac Barnaby.
For tickets, people will buy labeled parking spots for $60 for up to four people. Additional tickets are available for $15 each for people to join them within their parking spot.
The stage will be set up in front of the building and the audience will park their cars in the side and back lots, then claim their spots within the main parking lot – each household socially-distanced from the next in a patchwork of people throughout the lot. Audience members will need to bring their own seating, but can otherwise get comfortable within their reserved spot.
Tickets are available at ovationtc.com. If a show is postponed due to rain, it will be presented the following day as a matinee at 1 p.m.