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Indiana Repertory Theatre to host virtual streaming shows during pandemic

Shows can be streamed for $30
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Posted at 11:40 PM, Jan 29, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — 2020 was the year of show cancellations and restrictions, but one month into 2021 and the Indiana Repertory Theatre is aiming to make this a year unlike any other.

"Ha! Unlike anything. I used to think you know, I've got enough experience not that much is gonna throw me. Mmm, mmm, totally thrown top to bottom it's been unbelievable," Janet Allen said.

After 40 years in the theater business, artistic director Janet Allen is learning a new way to put on a show during a pandemic. The actors are still on stage, but the audience is at home streaming the show on their TV. Consider it the Netflix version of live-action theater.

"We're asking the film crew to film a play. So, it's not put together like a movie. It really is still like watching a production of a live play. That's our goal," Allen said.

While the pandemic has forced us all to adapt to changing rules and regulations, few theaters have adapted to streaming shows as quickly as the IRT. This year many of the nation's stages will remain dark.

"Many of our peers, Broadway you mentioned, there's nothing happening on Broadway. There's nothing happening in about 80% of the regional theaters in this country," Allen said.

Going dark was not an option for IRT, instead opting to do virtual shows with a smaller cast to keep actors and crew members working, while also paying bills and maintaining their downtown theater space. $30 virtual passes will give families access to IRTs upcoming productions from the comfort of their home. Allen says after adjusting to COVID-19 regulations, Zoom rehearsals, changing setups and even learning about streaming rights, putting on a full production show in a pandemic isn't too far from normal.

"Except that it never opens to a live audience and while we're making it, we're of course 6 feet distanced, we're masked, we're doing all the sanitizing and we're doing a lot of testing to keep everybody safe," Allen said.

IRT next production is 'Tuesdays with Morrie' which kicks off on February 8th. The streaming pass is $30 and can be purchased online.