by Louella Moreland
What happens when a worldwide pandemic closes the doors to live theaters? After recovering from the initial shock, creative minds of organizations, writers, directors, and actors go virtual!
Even though the pandemic halted live performances at Temple Theatre of Hanford in late March, Kings Players continued their work to provide entertainment to theater patrons of the Central Valley, moving online with virtual series offered on the Kings Players website.
After ending the popular Spooky Stories to Keep You Six Feet Apart, Kings Players wanted to offer another virtual project for actors and the public. Many ideas were put forward, and out of the discussions it was decided to make the next project a fun filled (slightly corny) holiday series. Thus Christmas Comedies was born.
Writer and director Louella Moreland states, “We really had a short time period in which to pull another series together, but we felt we wanted to offer the public a cheerful, upbeat way to celebrate an unusual and scaled back holiday season.”
“We were so pleased with the number of actors who responded to the call. It just emphasizes the point that people are looking for ways to continue to participate in the creative process regardless of the restrictions the pandemic is forcing on our lives.”
“All auditions and rehearsals were held via Zoom, with recordings of the shows done by the actors on Zoom or cell phones. Then, of course, it all has to be edited into a format to use on the website. It is quite a learning experience for those of us who have only done live theater in the past! We sincerely hope those watching will enjoy the stories as much as we did creating them.”
Kim Spicer and Mary-Catherine Paden were tasked with one part of an episode involving dancing reindeer, while Louella Moreland worked with the other four episodes. One of our actors, Julie Arklett, stepped in to edit all the pieces together.
The series includes four shows: Grandma Hit and Run? with Reindeer Rockettes practice session, Christmas Mix-Up, Game Show-Pine Away No More, and ’Twas the Night Before Opening.
Christmas Comedies will be available for viewing free on the groups website www.kingsplayers.org starting December 5. They encourage everyone to share the link with friends and family.
The Players are hopeful they will be able to return to live shows sometime in the spring of 2021, encouraging patrons to keep up with news and announcements via the website.
Check out even more local theatre reviews & articles (including more streaming shows) in our Arts & Entertainment section!
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can check the podcast out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, and also on podbean.