BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — State guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to all kinds of performances, but the Bakersfield Community Theatre is proving that all the world is a stage including your bedroom or kitchen.
The BCT would have been wrapping up their 92nd season this weekend if state guidelines regarding COVID-19 hadn’t shut down in-person performances. But the show must go on virtually.
“I miss the stage like crazy, but I’m grateful that we’re actually able to do this,” said BCT actress Deva Wilotch.
Wilotch is one of the four BCT members 23ABC's Kallyn Hobmann spoke with about their upcoming virtual performance. Wilotch has been acting for about fifteen years but she has never performed from her home until now
“I’ve always claimed I’m not a camera actor. I’m a stage actor so this is very different,” said Wilotch.
When state guidelines put an end to large in-person events BCT Artistic Director Rebecca Worley said the theatre was devastated
“We thrive on performing. We love to be onstage. We love to be in front of audiences. I think the hardest for us is to shut down and not have that environment.”
But on Friday the theatre will be putting on a virtual Facebook Live performance of the one-act play “Inaccurate Conceptions.”
“We picked several plays that adhere better to doing it on Zoom because there’s not necessarily physical contact,” said Director Tim Dromm.
Fromm said all rehearsals have taken place over Zoom and the cast is in charge of their own costumes.
While they recognize the possibility of technical problems they have high hopes.
“I’m doing all the technical aspects of these shows so knock on wood everything will go nice and smoothly,” said Worley.
Still, there will be a recorded version of the show posted to their Facebook page in case something goes wrong. There will also be a Q&A session after the show to learn more about performing virtually.
The theater plans to further navigate the technical aspects of virtual performances. Actress Heather McCarthy said they have two more planned in the coming months.
“If this is how we have to do it for the foreseeable future then, you know, count me in.”
The show will be streaming live on the Bakersfield Community Theatre’s Facebook page. Usually, the theatre makes money by selling tickets but for now, they are accepting donations on their website.
Check out their first virtual performance, "A Matter of Husbands" below: