The Carrollwood Cultural Center will return to theatre and step into the virtual entertainment ring with the play “Tragedians Anonymous: Shakespeare’s Tragic Characters in Therapy…Virtually” written by Rebecca Salomonsson on September 17 through September 20.
The performance-based arts organization has been deeply affected by COVID-19, having to cancel or postpone all of its live entertainment previously scheduled for March through August.
“It’s been difficult,” said Executive Director Paul Berg, “We are an arts-based, socially active organization. The community is at the core of who we are. Without the community, we’re nothing.”
The Center has slowly been finding ways to provide arts-based activities to its patrons with online classes, personalized gallery tours, and even a significantly scaled-down version of its popular summer camp program.
“Consistent, sustainable entertainment has been more difficult for us to figure out,” said Berg. “There is a learning curve with streaming services, ticketing software, educating our patrons, and even securing permission to stream theatre shows otherwise meant for the stage.”
The Center has several virtual projects in works in addition to “Tragedians Anonymous,” including “RENT: A Tribute Concert” this fall and a radio reading of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in December.
“Tragedians Anonymous” is a timely play about Shakespeare’s tragic characters who find themselves in lockdown. Forced to remain in isolation until further notice, Ophelia, Lady Anne, Romeo, and Juliet seek support from the virtually self-help group, Tragedians Anonymous led by Prospero. In Salomonsson’s smart, laugh-out-loud comedy, the four then proceed to confront the other characters and fatal flaws from their respective plays.
Air times for “Tragedians Anonymous” are Thursday, September 17 at 7 p.m., Friday, September 18 at 7 p.m., Saturday, September 19 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, September 20 at 3 p.m. Virtual access is $10 per show.
“Tragedians Anonymous” is sponsored by Arbor Terrace of Citrus Park and directed by Berg and Aaron Washington. The show stars Washington as Properso, Roman Ricardo as Romeo, Victoria Tribble as Juliet, Jessica Watzman as Ophelia, Holly Imfeld as Lady Anne, Kaileen Barreto as Hamlet’s Fatal Flaw, Kimberly Rostas as Weakness, Richard Haerther as Deception, Isabel Natera as Fate, Randy Magruder as Hamlet, Neil Bleiweiss as Polonius, Carl Canestrano as Claudius, Diego Rosado as King Richard III, Dave Shurte as Lord Montague, Lauren Burke as Lady Montague, Ted Hamilton as Lord Capulet, and Eve Hanna as Lady Capulet.
The Center is producing “Tragedians Anonymous” through a special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Denver, Colorado.
For more information, visit carrollwoodcenter.org or call (813) 922-8167.
(updated August 27, 2020)