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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: 2020 became the year of the new for performances in our region

Critic At Large

Internet becomes go-to instrument

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Because of COVID-19, we all know what a difference a year can make.

Some of the changes from this time in 2020 are fascinating.

Among them are examples from the performing arts scene in Northeastern Wisconsin.

The Internet became the go-to instrument for many performance companies that normally perform live for in-person audiences.

They found new ways to connect.

Right now, Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay is spending and hour and 22 minutes online spelling out last year and its reshaped future.

The report is nuts and bolts, dollars and cents – and tears at times.

In Tisch Mills, a Christmas show that had been done live for three years at the Forst Inn got a major re-do.

“Mistletoe Musings” became an elaborate music video with songs set on stage and on the streets of Manitowoc, including an amazing sequence ending with a sunrise.

The Sheboygan Theatre Company, The Masquers Inc. of Manitowoc, St. Norbert College’s Knights on Broadway show troupe and The Dance Company of greater Green Bay all took on the challenges of livestreaming. They put on performances live on stage, with the performances being beamed to audiences at home or wherever.

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh put on two full plays that teamed the skills of its Theatre Department with its Radio TV Film Department.

Certainly, Tennessee Williams’ famous “The Glass Menagerie” had never been done like that before.

Green Bay Community Theater gave us a wonderful example of what we’re missing with a surprise video.

A comedy it put on in front of a lively audience in 2017 had been professionally recorded thanks to cast member/donor Kathy Treankler, and the video’s belated showing was like no other in the region.

The creative folks at Northern Sky Theater of Door County put on a special theme show of new material from its creators around the United States.

In an illuminating talkback, writers and performers detailed the new technical prowess they had picked up since last march.

All this says 2020 was a year of the new.

That includes me recording my Sunday morning segments on my computer from home.

Full features or reviews of the above performances are on this site. More creative ventures are sure to surface.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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