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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Area creative folks play the hand they’re dealt with imagination

Critic At Large

They create a presence online

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Many of the creative folks in our area are card sharks.

They especially know how to play the hand they’re dealt.

For instance, in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Sheboygan Symphony continued to offer concerts online.

This was music the orchestra normally didn’t play in the Weill Center for the Performing Arts, the orchestra’s home for concerts.

Northern Sky Theatre of Door County – which is all original all the time – poured out online series.

Some are fantastic compilations from its decades of Wisconsin-based musicals. They include “Lipstick Optional,” “Only the Silly Songs” and “Love: It’s Not Just for Lumberjacks.”

The adventuresome University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Music’s “6:30 Concert Series” broadened its horizons.

Some concerts blended technology and then let fly on the Internet.

Peninsula Players Theatre was stifled in presenting live plays, but not suffocated.

Still accumulating are its personable, colorful and sweeping stories of how the theater keeps on keeping on.

Calumet County Community Theatre created a series on valuable tips for local actors.

So did Doug Landwehr, a veteran of Evergreen Productions of Greater Green Bay.

And so did Green Bay Community Theater, which added performances along with showings of two recorded full plays from recent seasons that were donated by a patron who acts, Kathy Treankler.

Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay is running an expansive series of play readings online with playwrights often joining afterward.

One was a one-woman I-phone performance from a basement that is so amazing it has been given a second life.

The play “Natural Shocks” by the prestigious Lauren Gunderson has been picked up for viewing May 24 to June 13 by way of Next Act Theatre of Milwaukee.

These are examples of how arts people created a presence when they were dealt with what looked like a crummy hand.

Other notable “presences” include:

+ University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Theatre, which joined forces with the university’s Radio-TV-Film Department to produced four plays online

+ University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre, which produced such hardball online projects as “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” and “The Laramie Project.”

+ Phoenix Players of Clintonville, which found fun in local folks taking on Zoom productions.

In a way, these entities found ways to make the deuces in the hands they were dealt be wild.

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