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      IMAGINE THAT! By Thomas Putnam


      I have been getting season subscriptions to the Geva Theatre in Rochester for the past few years. It's not too long of a drive up there and they produce some really great theatre. In fact, some of my most memorable moments in theatre have occurred there. They have two stages; a main stage with 500ish seats, and a studio theatre with maybe 120 seats. I've gotten a lot of good ideas of plays we could produce at HG from there, and also saw some plays that we had already produced which is always stretching for me.

      Of course, their season was cut short this past spring. They are a professional theatre. They pay a fairly large staff. They pay directors and actors. They have a host of instrumentalists that they pay for musicals. They pay for composers for original music for plays. And then the whole thing has to just stop.

      The arts just don't pay much to begin with in our country. At least not in regional theatre. Take away what they do get paid and that's a lot of folk out of work.

      I receive updates from Geva on a regular basis and the one I received yesterday really caught my attention. They announced their 2020-21 Season. The big operative adjective: RE-IMAGINED. Their re-imagined season. Smaller casts. Some shows re-scheduled from the lost season. Some new. Nothing in the studio theatre. I don't recall that there were any musicals at all. Re-imagined.

      That made sense to me and gave me hope. Most of us go along with some imagination of our lives year after year. We imagine how it might look; how we hope it might look. It usually takes something really catastrophic to change how we imagined our lives would be. And then 2020 happens. We are left with shattered dreams/imaginings. But wait; there's more. Let's RE-imagine what it could look like. It's not easy, but it's the only way we can proceed. What if we could do this...? What would happen if we tried....? Why not...? If this, then what about that...?

      The Geva will be operating with a far limited number of audience members. They are also either recording or live-streaming their shows. They have a contingency plan for if they have to shut down again. They're re-imagining and moving forward. Onward!

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