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Zach Running Coyote & Anna Dalgleish
Thank you Calgary - ShakesBow 2020
On behalf of Artistic Director Stafford Arima, Board Chair Craig Senyk, and Jim Reader, we are reaching out to let you know we are thinking of you during these challenging times.
While our theatre is still closed and live plays on our stage are on hold for the foreseeable future, we are proud to say that we are prevailing, morphing and rediscovering what live theatre means during a pandemic.
We write you today having just wrapped up Shakespeare by the Bow - with our first ever ‘online play’ of Romeo & Juliet. We were proud to have partnered on this project with The Shakespeare Company and Hit + Myth, and we thank them for their support. It took over two months to adapt the beloved outdoor experience into a virtual one, and we are all thrilled with the results.
Over the run of the nine shows, including an extension of two additional performances due to popular demand, we entertained more than 3,700 people, for an average over 400 per performance across our platforms.
We are also very thankful to our individual donors, corporate sponsors, and restaurant partners, along with all of viewers who donated through our Text-to-Donate program. The generosity from all these donations exceeded $50,000, which allowed the program to proceed and provide the valuable learning opportunity to our young emerging artists.
The show also received great critical response, from both the media and our patrons. The Calgary Herald’s Louis B. Hobson called it “Commendably inventive, modern…which makes for some very innovative and fun new conventions…”
The YYSCENE’s Lori Montgomery said “this production gives me hope…it’s easy to see how this could point the way to a new way of experiencing theatre.” We also received several heartfelt messages from the public and this kind comment from one of our donating patrons “Your online performance is one of the most creative endeavors we have seen during the COVID-19 tragedy. Thank you.”
These comments reminds us why we took this project on. In a time of adversity, the spirit of Calgary cannot be broken, and our city still has such an appetite to support the arts. We were also excited to contribute to that spirit by giving audiences surprise guest appearances each night including Mayor Naheed Nenshi, actor Ahad Raza Mir, and popular Canadian musicians Daniel Greaves, Sarah Slean, and Hawksley Workman.
The closing of Romeo & Juliet does not mean we are going to be quiet. We are now planning and creating some exciting and innovative programs for the rest of the year and look forward to sharing it with you soon. Trust us when we say that we are just getting started!
We hope you’ll continue to ‘tune in’ and support Theatre Calgary and experience firsthand the positive impact we are having on Calgarians’ social and mental wellbeing, building culture and our collective future- together. In the meantime, please stay healthy, stay connected and stay tuned for more exciting news about the rest of our 2020 plans soon!
Interim Executive Director
Chair of the Board of Directors
Lori Montgomery, YYScene
"This production gives me hope…it’s easy to see how this could point the way to a new way of experiencing theatre.”