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Theater In The Pandemic: Actors Engage On The Virtual Stage

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Stephen Deininger/Pandemic Players
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Last month, after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a ban on all large public gatherings, the region’s theaters — like most of its businesses — were closed to the public.  But actors gotta act, and it wasn’t long before the theater community found new and creative ways to connect with their stay-at-home audiences.  We'll hear about some of them today.

Tom is joined first by our theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, who has been sampling some of what’s out there for home-bound theater lovers. 

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Credit Rob Sivak/WYPR
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Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck

Here are links to some of the virtual (online) thespian offerings that Judy recommends (including Pandemic Players, also linked below): 

Baltimore Center Stage, Where We Stand
Play at Home
Royal National Theatre
92nd Street Y,
 especially its Sondheim program
audible.com
Theatre Project 

and Happenstance Theater, in particular.

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Credit Stephen Deininger
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Pandemic Players director Stephen Deininger

Then, Tom talks with local theater director Stephen Deininger.  He’s the founder and director of Pandemic Players, a defiantly creative response to the shuttering of our theaters. Its digitally-produced performances -- which can be followed on its Facebook page and seen on its Youtube channel -- are also helping to raise emergency funds for the theater community.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
J. Wynn Rousuck has been reviewing theater for WYPR's Midday (and previously, Maryland Morning) since 2007. Prior to that, she was the theater critic of The Baltimore Sun, where she reviewed more than 3,000 plays over the course of 23 years. Her feature coverage for The Sun included a comprehensive series chronicling the development of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray.” Judy got her start at The Cleveland Press and at Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV. Her broadcasting experience also includes a year as an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.