DCS postpones summer youth musical, making plans for short plays

By CATHERINE KIRK CKIRK@DDTONLINE.COM,

Plans for the summer youth musical at Delta Center Stage have had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Delta Center Stage Executive Director Tim Bixler said the initial plans to produce Disney’s “Frozen Jr.” have been indefinitely postponed as there is not enough consensus on what is considered safe regarding crowd size.

“The task force we convened last week was composed of persons with medical credentials who are also active participants in what we do. I felt strongly that we needed advice and decision-making from the perspective of people who have a full understanding of the full scope and nature of what we do,” Bixler said.

Instead, the DCS board of directors has decided to make plans to produce a short play project, which is designed to minimize extended rehearsal times and will not require extensive physical contact.

“Reluctantly, I’ve advised our board of directors that proceeding at any point in the near term with a large scale musical such as Disney’s ‘Frozen Jr.’ is just too risky at this point. We all need more knowledge and understanding of this novel situation before we proceed in that vein,” Bixler said. “However, we have come up with a really exciting and attractive plan to re-start our activities even sooner than the planned and now postponed youth musical. I am still waiting on a couple of clearances.”

Delta Center Stage will produce a series of eight “Ten Minute Plays” that were recently featured at the Boston Theatre Marathon, which Bixler said is an annual event sponsored by Boston University that showcases the finest New England playwrights presenting original short work. 

“The variety and creativity of these original short works is just astounding, and it struck me that this kind of style could be put together much more safely, and much more quickly in the current environment,” he said. “The subject matter of these shorts covers an amazing variety from hilarious, to religious, to gut-punching in impact. There will be no unifying theme other than than all of these short scripts are exceptionally well written.”

To save on rehearsal time, there will not be any auditions.

“This will be by invitation only,” Bixler said, noting they are still working to assemble a cast and crew of  experienced actors and directors.

If there is someone with show experience and they are interested, they are asked to call Bixler at 662-820-5489.

The shows will not be a ticketed event and those who attend are asked to pay what they can.

As a joint fundraiser, the funds raised will be split between Delta Center Stage and the E.E. Bass Foundation.

Show dates are still being determined, but are expected to take place sometime between June 25-29.

About the short plays

The list of short plays to be performed include:

* “Downgrade” — A humorous comment on obsession and how it can take over our lives;

* “Just Listen” — An African-American woman in an office break-room defends a painted black Jack-O-Lantern as harmless to her virtue signaling white co-worker;

* “With Intent” — A play about how something surprising can change our lives (true love is based on very special things — sometimes not what we expect);

* “Choices” — A debtor burdened by crushing student loans is offered a way out ... but is the deal too good to be true?;

* “The Campaign” — A black advertising executive in a very white ad firm is challenged by a co-worker when he offers his opinion that a proposed ad campaign will be offensive to the African-American community;

* “Black Jesus” — A straight-forward and religiously conventional examination of a young black male’s concept of Jesus Christ; 

* “A Few Adjustments” — Hilariously fast-paced duet between an auditioning young actress, and a casting director who is making the young woman work way too hard; and

* “Room 221” — A devastatingly honest gut-punch on the subject of High School Shootings.

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