The performing arts strive off of having people attend shows and being able to share their work with a live audience.

But when shows are canceled or postponed to an unforeseeable future, the performing world takes a hard hit.

Right now, there are no physical concerts, shows, plays or any live entertainment in the way we used to know. It’s not just small-scale shows either. Broadway announced they were closing their doors for the rest of 2020 and Cirque du Soleil filed for bankruptcy.

Those involved in the performing arts, whether that’s the performers themselves or people who work behind the scenes are told to stay strong because curtains will rise again soon.

The problem is that there is no telling when that will happen. For professionals in the industry it’s being unemployed for an unknown amount of time.

How do you plan for a production when you have no idea when that production will take place?

Other than the emotional impact of not being able to perform, there is also the financial side of things. While patrons for performances have been encouraged to donate their ticket money for shows that have since been canceled, there’s still a huge loss of revenue from these shows that would have been. People don’t just buy tickets, but they purchase programs, food and merchandise which helps these groups as well.

Bouncing back after quarantine will take a lot of work, but it’s not completely hopeless.

It’s important to still show support to the artists that you love. Whether it’s financial support by donating, attending digital events, or even just continuing to talk about their work. It helps show performers that there will be an audience there once it’s possible.

A number of performers have turned to using the internet to their advantage, such as hosting concert live stream or Zoom play readings to still engage with the audience.

Recently, the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” released a pro shot with the original Broadway cast exclusively to Disney+. The show was now accessible to audiences, even though Broadway has been closed since March.

The performance is able to be enjoyed by fans, both new and old, from the safety and comfort of their own home. Even though most of these actors are currently unemployed, audiences can still see their work and talk about it on social media.

Performing artists being able to share their work digitally allows performers to still entertain and audiences and help them know that the arts are here to stay. And someday, the curtains will be able to open again.

ANDREA RICKER is Features Editor The Vidette. She can be contacted at arricke@ilstu.edu Follower her on Twitter at @ricker_andrea    


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