By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) – “It’s really forced us to reimagine who we are and how do we communicate and engage with our audiences,” ArtsEmerson Executive Director David Howse said.

With doors shut and curtains closed, many local theaters are doing what they do best – getting creative.

“Right now, we’re working on an amazing series called ‘Dream Boston,’ which is a series of micro-plays. They’re seven or eight minutes long,” Huntington Theatre Company‘s Melinda Lopez explained. The theatre has released 11 audio plays since May, all by local playwrights. “We’ve gotten great feedback. We have over 12,000 listens right now, which is fantastic, and people are just really happy to have a momentary escape.”

“It’s really forced us to reimagine who we are and how do we communicate and engage with our audiences,” ArtsEmerson Executive Director David Howse said of the COVID-19 pandemic. (WBZ-TV)

Not far down the street, ArtsEmerson is focusing on digital programming. “We developed what we’re calling our digital venue, which is a place for exploring new works, some archival footage, and we’ve also spent a lot of time making a deeper investment in the artist residencies,” Howse said.

Over in Beverly, The Cabot is celebrating its 100th year. Like many theaters, it’s rolling with the punches and finding ways to adapt.

Executive Director Casey Soward told WBZ-TV, “We did a three-month series of 40-person concerts at Hale Farm in Beverly. We embraced the virtual world, and we’re going to be launching our own streaming channel in early 2021.”

They’re marking the milestone anniversary with a free virtual event on December 3 – with some special guests.

“We’re going to be presenting artists like James Taylor, Grace Potter, Rodriguez, and many, many more are going to be a part of that event. It’s very exciting for us,” Soward said.

While they’re doing what they can, all of the theaters WBZ-TV spoke to stressed the importance of donations and community support to help them through this time.

Rachel Holt

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