Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre is hosting virtual cabarets on Facebook Live, at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, May 2, 9 and 16.
The cabarets will feature a variety of entertainment by area performers who volunteered to participate in the project, said Penny Milspaugh, executive director of the theater company.
“We wanted a way to reach out to our patrons and the community and just provide some entertainment,” Milspaugh said. “So, we called on some of our favorite stage and musical performers and just asked them to be part of the show. And we had such a strong turnout, we’re actually going to do three separate little cabarets over the next three Saturday nights.”
The performances will feature some familiar faces in the live theater scene, including Misti Koop, who is also coordinating sound and video for the cabarets; Maura Ferguson; Amy Driscoll; Emma Lyste; Chris and Stefanie Feldmann; and Mark Ellingson.
All the participants will be performing in their homes, because of current social distancing requirements, Milspaugh said.
Musical numbers, such as solos and duets, will be performed using instruments and soundtracks, she said. Some are presenting short skits or bits of plays.
Each program will run about 30 to 45 minutes, “enough time to smile and tap your toe a little bit and sing along,” Milspaugh said.
The theater company usually presents its productions at the Fire Hall Theatre in downtown Grand Forks. The facility is closed, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it is uncertain when it will reopen, Milspaugh said.
The shows may be accessed on the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre’s Facebook page or www.ggfct.com.
“We’re getting a lot of questions about summer programs and summer camps,” said Milspaugh on another topic, noting that the company is working on this and will inform the public as soon possible. “We still hope to do something."
Reaching an audience in a virtual setting is “absolutely vital,” she said. “We are actually exploring what the new normal is going to look like.”
This is an opportunity to see how the theater company may function in the future, and how the public will accept changes imposed by social distancing, according to Milspaugh, explaining that, at the Fire Hall, which seats 108, some may watch performances live and others may participate through streaming.