• theopentheatre

OTP Coronavirus UPDATES 2020

Updated: Apr 1



Dear OTP Community,


It is with a heavy heart but a fierce dedication to the health and safety of our community amid such uncertainty that we formally postpone the majority of our spring and summer programming at Open Theatre Project.


The OTP Board, Core, and our production teams have done an exceptional job in the past few weeks assessing our response to the crisis. While we wish the impact was minimal, we still don’t know how far-reaching the effects of the pandemic will be. The best we can do right now is postpone and ensure the company and artists have the time needed to adjust to any new normals we find when we return to our theatre and our community. Most importantly, we will return thanks to your support and our amazing team.


In true OTP fashion, we want to keep our doors open to all throughout this crisis—digitally, at least. As we look ahead, we are making a few promises, as we did when we started OTP 2020:


  • OTP is a THEATRE company, focused on creating art in a shared and connected space… this is contradictory to the world we live in right now, but we promise we will be ready when we can gather again.

  • We promise to take care of our team 120%. For any OTP team member who was interrupted in the middle of work on a production, we’re making sure they are paid before we pause. For those who have yet to begin work, we will prioritize accommodating their schedules and availability for our return.

  • We promise to support our venue partners at St. John’s Church, Club Cafe, and the PAO Arts Center when we return to make sure their spaces are FULL of theatre, connection, and community.

  • We promise to keep moving forward and stay connected (while we practice social distancing). The OTP Board and Core will be gathering regularly to keep our mission moving forward and will provide regular updates to you all.


Official Updates to our 2020 Series


  • Everyone is Dying and So Am I - POSTPONED to Aug - Dec 2020

  • Gay Shorts 4 : Across the Ages - POSTPONED for Later in 2020

  • PlayFeast : A Banquet of New Asian American Plays - POSTPONED for Later in 2020

  • PlaysInProgress - PLANNING ADJUSTMENTS for 2020 Dates

  • TheatrePorch as part of JP Porchfest - CANCELLED

  • JP Concerts reminder of 19/20 Series - CANCELLED, returning in the Fall

  • SLAM Boston - DATES BEING REASSESSED

  • OTP Core & Board Meetings - CONTINUING Virtually


Ways we’d love for you to stay involved:


  • Stay Safe - The CDC and specifically the Massachusetts State Department have been diligent in sharing updates on the best ways to be stay safe, this is our #1 Priority.

  • Stay Informed - We will be sharing regular updates with our community including artistic relief opportunities, community engagement opportunities and the best ways to stay safe during this time. We thank our partners at Stage Source for their on-going support of our artistic community & their Resources on COVID-19.

  • Stay Connected - Tell us what you’re doing, engage with us on Social Media, send us an email, share new stories you’re reading, and connect with one another.

  • Support our Upcoming Work - If you have the means to give right now, we’re only going to be using this time to make what’s to come even better. We want to make sure our community has something bright to look forward to, and as always, that means helping us pay our artists and open our doors as wide as possible.

  • Keep sharing your ideas for the future! There is a lot of unknown right now, but just as much potential as always, if you have an idea to share, we’d love to hear it!

The OTP Board, Core, and our production teams have done an exceptional job in the past few weeks assessing our response to the crisis. While we wish the impact was minimal, we still don’t know how far-reaching the effects of the pandemic will be. The best we can do right now is postpone and ensure the company and artists have the time needed to adjust to any new normals we find when we return to our theatre and our community. Most importantly, we will returnthanks to your support and our amazing team.

Some words of encouragement from our Team Members


Michael John Ciszewski - Creator/Performer, Everyone is Dying and So Am I

Everyone is Dying and So Am I is about gathering together to celebrate life—in all its darkness and light—and heal. I started work on it four years ago in the midst of paradigm-shifting crises both personal and political. I was gripped by anxiety, panic attacks, and a deepening depression. Life looked bleak and alien. Desperate to find some hope, I connected with my creative practice and others who understood. I clung to my findings like a life raft and made this show. It is my big-hearted queer survival art, and I share it as a community healing ritual. When we can gather and celebrate life together, we will. We will be galvanized to do that with our communities to an extent of which we could only dream! And we will heal. The show will go on, and I promise it’ll be a party.”


George Smart - Creator of Gay Shorts / OTP Board Member

"We will keep the fire banked and ready to roar back as soon as we are able. Gay Shorts will rise again (pun intended) and we will be back to laughing and arguing and creating inclusive plays and concerts that will make you smile. So much thanks to our financial contributors who are hanging in with us during this truly crazy time. We have a lot planned, so stay tuned, we won't let you forget about us anyway."


Dustin Bell - Founder / Producing Artistic Director

“I’m so excited to gather again. Theatre has always been my sanity and the shared experience of live performance just cannot be re-created anywhere else. Coming back home to all our amazing artists & community members is going to be so sweet after so much time apart.”


As we move into uncharted waters, we do so together, as a unified company and community. OTP’s mission starts and ends with the idea that theatre should be for everyone, and with your help, we’ll weather this storm and come back better than ever.


All the Love and MANY Thanks,


The OTP Core, Board & Staff



Additional Resources

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

World Health Association (WHO)

Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Artist Relief Information

Boston Artist Relief Fund

Theatre Community Benevolent Fund

StageSource







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