2020-2021 Season Changes FAQ
Won’t this feel like just another boring old Zoom meeting?
Actually, we’re engaging our entire design team – and paying them their full contracts! There will be costumes. There will be props. There will be the magic of storytelling. With a stellar three-person cast, a brilliant director at the helm, and our full design team working their craft, we have every confidence that The Lifespan of a Fact will remain a robust and entertaining experience for you. And fear not – we’ll be offering lots of live online talkbacks so you won’t miss out on that essential part of your Forward experience!
As our lighting designer Noele Stollmack put so well: “We’re going to elevate what’s going on right now into something more 3-dimensional.” We’re excited to go on this adventure and hope you are, too.
How will Lifespan actually work?
The Lifespan of a Fact is scheduled to run in September of 2020. During the performance run, you’ll be able to view the recorded production at any point, on your own schedule. So you don’t have to wait until your “2nd Wednesday” ticket to use that link and watch. Closing night (9/27/20) will be the last evening that the link is active. We’ll send all ticket holders a private link for viewing. While we’re still exploring our best options, you may even be able to watch the production through your smartTV for a better viewing experience. So get your popcorn ready, unwrap those cough drops and make yourself at home.
And of course, we’ll keep our signature Forward pre-show talk and post-show talkbacks.
Will single tickets be available for purchase?
For The Lifespan of a Fact, we will make single tickets available, but we’re still working out all the details. In a normal season, our single tickets would go on sale in August, so we’ll be sure to share all that information no later than then.
I don’t want to watch The Lifespan of a Fact online. What are my options?
We recognize that this scenario is not what we promised when we announced our 2020-21 season on March 10th. While storytelling looks very different right now, we still believe that theater plays an important role (especially these days!) and we’d like the opportunity to share this story with you. We’re doing our very best to offer a robust and entertaining experience that allows us to support our artists and we hope you’ll give it a try. (And the subject matter is proving to be quite timely, indeed!)
If you do not wish to try viewing a production online, we are happy to offer refunds for individual shows throughout the season. Simply reach out to Audience & Donor Relations Manager Samara Safarik at email@example.com at any time during the season ahead and she will assist you.
Should I just get a refund for my entire subscription?
We hope you’ll stick with us on this bumpy ride and we’ve got a few great reasons why.
One show at a time: As a smaller company, we’re able to move swiftly and nimbly while prioritizing the health and safety of our artists and audience. That means we can make decisions in response to evolving circumstances on a show-by-show basis. We are still committed to providing a complete season of exciting productions to our subscribers. If a show can’t be performed in front of a live audience, and you don’t want to view a filmed version, we’ll be happy to provide a refund for that production.
Exclusive content: The new gap between September and January in this year’s schedule is just too long for us to wait to offer something to our audiences! So we’re already planning to present virtual play readings with Forward Theater artists in October-December. We’re excited to feature some of our favorite contemporary plays, which for one reason or another didn't make it into our seasons. This series will be offered free to subscribers, with gratitude for your flexibility as we adapt to changing circumstances.
Keep those seats: There will come a time when we all gather together in the Playhouse again to share our humanity and common experience. What that day comes, you’ll need somewhere to sit! By keeping your subscription this year, those seats you’ve worked so hard to get and keep will be right there waiting for you when we all come back together again.
You’re the reason we can say YES: We’re honoring full contracts for our artists this season. That’s 142 artists who will get a paycheck during these uncertain times. We’re keeping our staff fully employed. We’re using our rainy day fund to keep afloat during this storm (ok, let’s just say it… this hurricane). The reason we can do this is because of you, our subscribers, who have shown up since our first season 11 years ago. We can say YES to all of these people because of you.
Why did you decide to make Lifespan into a “Zoom” production?
Overture Center for the Arts announced that they will be keeping their doors closed until December 2020. We have been working closely with Overture’s staff and our fellow resident companies during this time, and based on current guidelines for rehearsal spaces and performance venues, we agree that this is the best course of action to maintain the highest levels of health and safety, both for our artists and our audiences.
Overture’s closing wasn’t the only factor in this choice. Actor’s Equity Association (AEA), the national union of professional actors and stage managers, is not currently allowing any of their members to rehearse shows in person. Experts throughout our field are working out protocols to keep theater artists safe in a rehearsal room and onstage, but we do not yet know how long that process will take. We share AEA’s commitment to safety, so are glad we have the option to present this particular play remotely. With a stellar three-person cast, a brilliant director at the helm, and our full design team working their magic, we have every confidence that The Lifespan of a Fact will remain a robust and entertaining experience for you. And fear not – we’ll be offering lots of live online talkbacks so you won’t miss out on that essential part of your Forward experience!
Will you have to do the entire season as “Zoom” productions?
We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to provide an in-person experience for you in the Playhouse in 2021. We know it will look different. We know that we’ll have a lot of work to do, to keep you and our artists safe. We’re committed to working with Overture Center, WI Dept of Health Services and Public Health Madison & Dane County to accomplish this. Our preference will always be to rehearse in person, stage our shows fully in the Playhouse, and perform them in front of live audiences. Remotely rehearsed and recorded productions are the backup plan when other options are not available to us. By shifting the rest of our season into 2021, we hope we have increased the odds of being able to return to live production. But throughout the season, even when we are performing live, you will still have the option to watch a filmed version from home if that feels safest for you.
Where can I find the new dates for the season?
Wondering what your new “First Saturday” or “Third Wednesday” dates will be for 45 Plays? Updated dates for 45 Plays for America’s First Ladies and the Monologue Festival can be found at the top of this page.
All other dates remain the same.
When will I get my tickets?
Because our 2020 productions (Lifespan and 45 Plays) are either online or postponed, you will not receive printed tickets in August, as originally planned. Instead, we plan to send out tickets for the 2021 productions later this year. And in August we will send all ticket holders details on how to watch The Lifespan of a Fact online.
Changes in a Nutshell:
1. Show #1: Lifespan will be remote-only (Zoom or similar)
2. Show #2: 45 Plays for America’s First Ladies will be rescheduled from its November 2020 timeslot to May 7-23, 2021. Specific dates can be found at the top of this page.
3. Show #3: schedule has not changed.
4. Show #4: schedule has not changed.
5. Monologue Festival: Within These Walls: Stories of Home has been rescheduled from May 2021 to June 23-27, 2021.