Things to Come: A Message From the Artistic Director

“Creativity is born of chaos, even if it is somewhat difficult to glimpse the possibilities in the midst of the confusion.” -Charles Handy

2020 was quite a year. It was exactly twelve months ago this week that the entertainment and live events industries were shuttered due to the pandemic. In an instant, all that we knew, loved, worked for, and had carefully cultivated was forced into unwanted and uncomfortable hibernation with no end in sight. It was a frightening and chaotic time. But as we all began to grasp the enormity and breadth of the situation, artists began to do what we do best in crisis: create. (If you need an innovative and efficient solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem, ask a theatre person. They will not only find you an answer, but will provide the framework so that you can recreate that answer again and again with predictable results. And they will do it all with heart and just the right amount of flair).

And so, Virtual Arts was born. Four friends from all corners of the US came together online to provide a platform for our fellow artists to be heard. To build a place where they could create and perform safely again, while our stages remained dark. We quickly realized that this was not only going to be vital for performers and audiences alike, starving for the comfort and reprieve that the arts can bring during the lonely days of Covid-19, it was a platform that was here to stay, and was bursting with possibility and growth.

We enter 2021 with a new mission and renewed faith. We are excited to bring shows and events of all kinds and from all places to you in the comfort of your own home, and hopefully soon, on a stage near you! In the coming months, we will be presenting large-scale “mainstage online” productions, like The Women’s Project, celebrating women working in all facets of the arts, and taking a deep look into how they’ve struggled, navigated, and reinvented for themselves and for their families this past year, our Zoom-a-Thon which will be one of our first big fundraising campaigns, and Reality TV In a Virtual World, an online reality TV show that will unite contestants remotely.

We’ll also be bringing you some smaller, recurring pieces, like I Love You 2021 (an intimate, host guided evening of featured guests that showcases personal stories of coping and thriving, presented with hope, humor, and humanity), Look Ma, I’m on TV! (a humorous but penetrating, challenging, and genuinely inquisitive look at current events. Panelist discussion and monologues are led by a less-than-experienced interviewer character who is confidently pursuing his “viral” moment while broadcasting from his mom’s basement.), and the Culture In Concert series, which will bring together artists of varying talents across the globe (musicians, actors, dancers, chefs, visual artists) who, because of physical distance between them, would never have been able to present together. Via this virtual bridge, they’ll join forces and present a show with a theme or cultural connection that binds them.
Looking at the immediate future, we are lucky enough to be producing a double dose of fundraising fun for the YWCA of Hilo, HI, first with a performance of Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding Quarantined, followed by the virtual premiere of Leo & Lili’s Luau. And, of course, we’ll continue to host virtual events, as we have been – fundraisers, reunions, meetings, you name it! We have so much in store for you, and so many ideas simmering. We can’t wait for you to see it all. Thank you for sharing our inaugural season of Virtual Arts with us!

— Gret Menzies Gonzalez

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