The #PressForward Press, Issue No.1
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Think of this as our quirky little way of staying in touch with you! The goal of #pressforward Press is, in its current state, to reach out to our friends and fellow artists to check in, extend friendship, share ideas, and promote the incredibly creative work that is emerging in these uncertain times. In its future state, it will allow us to update you about shows and other goings-on at Forge and around Kansas City.
It's hard to believe this was us just a few weeks ago, on March 7th. For those of you that don't know us very well, we'll do a season recap for you in an upcoming issue. For now, let us just say that we miss each other very much, as we know you miss your friends and family. We are video conferencing regularly, and taking the opportunity to brainstorm and plan for days ahead.
Artists Pressing Forward
Both locally and nationally, artists are finding new and inventive ways to create and collaborate. Check these out, and please tell us about any we've missed! *updated 4/14/2020
The Coterie Theatre School is offering its Spring session of drama classes as live, interactive online instruction. Now available to youth nationwide, The Coterie's classes are led by their staff of trained teaching artists and are focused on a process-based curriculum. Coterie drama classes offer quality screen time that will allow students of all ages to express themselves, occupy their imaginations, and help add structure and positivity to their week.
Yep, Us! We're having a little fundraiser, and we'd love to see your face there. Friday, April 17th, we're hosting a trivia night. Just $10 for some silly fun, and we even have a few prizes. All proceeds go to support our second season.
In his own words: "In which we crawl out of the pandemic hole via goofy and growth-centric conversation." This is truly a unique and humanizing experience; give it a listen!
KC Rep will be streaming FRANKENSTEIN: A GHOST STORY and LEGACY LAND for just $20 each until April 15th. If you were a subscriber or ticket buyer for either production and did not refund your ticket, you should have received an email containing your passcode.
KC Public Theatre presented their first Theatre Lab Live on Facebook Monday, April 6th. They are currently planning their second one, an Online 10-Minute Play Project. Five 10-Minute Plays will be selected and performed by professional actors live on Facebook. Playwrights: to be considered, please email your play to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15th. Submit plays that have no more than 5 characters. Actors: if you would like to be considered for a role in the upcoming Theatre Lab, please email you headshot and resume. Roles are dependent upon the selected plays.
Have a story you want to tell? An opinion you need to get off your chest? A poem, song, monologue, or more? Why not express it on Virtual Soapbox? Email your one minute video to email@example.com or tag them in your video on Facebook.
KCYA announces their first series of online classes! This trial online session will be 4 weeks long and classes will be limited to 8 students. During this trial session, KCYA staff and teaching artists will work to develop best practices for online learning, work through any technical issues, and check in with students and their parents to ensure a quality learning experience. Their hope is to offer a more robust selection of classes beginning in June, should summer programming not be possible in their building.
Not a performance, but artists take note: The Missouri Arts Council and Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance want to know the impact of COVID-19 on artists' health and livelihoods. Take a moment to let them know via this survey.
Shots in the Night Radio Theatre
Catch reruns on KKFI 90.1 FM Community Radio the third Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm. April 16 they celebrate their 10th anniversary featuring The Forge's own Coleman Crenshaw!
Enrolling now for Online Drama Classes designed to get the drama out of your house! The small group design ensures every student gets a chance to shine. Classes in improv, drama games, scripted plays, movie making and commercial, TV & film acting. Cost range $50-$75.
Vi will be live streaming on Facebook Saturdays at 7:30pm. You are encouraged to comment with songs you want to hear, and to donate to The Buffalo Room if you are able!
Actors share brief videos to allow writers to get to know them better. An hour later, writers and actors are paired, and writers work on crafting new monologues for their assigned actors. Actors received their monologues the following morning, are filming their performances throughout the day, and release the videos that night, completing the 24-hour cycle. Learn more on Broadway.com.
The paid streaming service is offering a free 7-day trial (after that it's $8.99/month or $99.99 for a year). So if you can't swing the extra expense right now (as a lot of us can't), sign up and do a 7-day binge.
Check out their YouTube Channel for hours of down-the-rabbit-hole fun just for theatre nerds. Their #LiveatFive Home Edition series features some of Broadway's favorite stars and is some pure quarantine goodness.
Broadway World is keeping a list of "shutdown-streaming" for theatre lovers.
Starting April 2, National Theatre will begin making shows previously screened in cinemas available on their YouTube Channel. Join them Thursdays at 2pm CST for some of the best British theatre, free to stream for a week. Starting April 2nd with the online premiere of One Man Two Guvnors.
Theater fans in the US can now enjoy a wide selection of FREE musicals and plays as PBS unlocks past episodes of 'Great Performances' and 'Live from Lincoln Center' for unlimited streaming. PBS plans to add more selections throughout the month of April. The productions will remain free until May 27th, 2020.
SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, are producing a daily online mini-show featuring stars of stage and screen singing and performing live (from home) on social media. Broadway star Kelli O’Hara is their first guest.
They are currently reviewing their archives and "exploring possibilities for streaming content to keep you connected to our work." For now, they have released this video from their 40th anniversary gala that before now has not been released publicly.
On March 13th, Tony Award Winner Laura Benanti launched #SunshineSongs on Twitter, inviting students who had their productions cancelled to tweet videos of their performances.
Is reading Shakespeare sonnets. Is this relevant to theatre? We're gonna say yes.
What is everyone doing to stay sane right now? We've collected this sample list from friends, family, Facebook... wherever we can find them.
Read: A lot of us are using this time to catch up on our reading. Two of our founders are members of the Book of the Month Club, which can be a fun way to explore new titles. You can also sign up for Rainy Day Books' Shelf Awareness newsletter, which always has a lot of great ideas. The library has a pretty extensive ebook selection you can check out, just know that some of them have pretty lengthy wait times.
Netflix Party: Missing movie night? Sync up with friends and watch a movie together.
Video Conference: Platforms like Zoom are growing like mad right now. You can use Zoom (free for up to 40 minutes at a time), FaceTime, Google Hangouts and others to spend some time with loved ones. If you're having trouble with bandwidth, you might inquire with friends and family. You might know someone with a paid business subscription, and those are likely to have some more capacity.
Color: Coloring books have been popular with kids and adults alike for some time now. Join in with your kiddos and do some good old fashioned coloring, or you can enjoy this new one released by the Pitch. Together with over 60 artists,The Pitch has released Coloring KC, a digital coloring book celebrating all things Kansas City.
This crazy little template started circulating on Instagram a few years ago, but people have started doing it again recently. Save this little guy and use your editing tools to draw a self portrait.
Write: It can be a play, a poem, a short story, or just a journal. Lots of people are finding catharsis in getting their thoughts down on paper
Board Games: This one's a little tricky because we can't encourage you to invite your neighbors over. If you live with other people, get together and see what puzzles and games you have stashed in a closet or a storage space. Dust 'em off (and maybe give 'em a good spritz of Lysol) and have some old fashioned fun.
Bake/Cook Stuff: If you're into that. Trade recipes with friends online. See what you can make out of whatever they had left at Target or the Dollar Store.
Learn Something: YouTube has a ton of videos where you can start learning anything from basket weaving to piano to a new language. Explore something you've put off. If you've been wanting to look into technical skills, check out Code Academy. There's a ton of stuff you can learn there for free.
Self-Care and Mental Health
Above all, take some time for your own self-care and mental health. This can mean different things to all of us, whether it's meditation, yoga, reading a good book, diving into a good playlist (here's a calming one recommended by one of our founders!), taking a nap, or even busting out all of those Birchbox samples and giving yourself an at-home pampering sesh.
There are some great tips out there for maintaining your mental health while sheltering in place. If you live with other people, try to show each other some extra patience, and find some time to go to your separate corners for alone time once in a while. Most of us aren't used to spending this much time together.
Sheltering in place can also give ammunition to adversaries like chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, and domestic abuse. Know that there are still resources out there for you if you are struggling with any of these:
The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255
Here is a list of local crisis resources
Local domestic violence shelters and hotlines are still operating
Stay tuned for more from Forge, and if you want to add anything to these lists, let us know! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook! In the meantime, stay safe, #washyourhands, and keep pressing forward!