I have always needed the consolation of the theater.
Playwright Beth Henley said that, years after she graduated from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and won a Pulitzer Prize for Crimes of the Heart.
There are many crimes of the heart— against the heart—in this COVID moment.
Talent has been stymied, some never to return to the stages of our lives, siphoned off instead to law school or nursing, as Kevin Moriarty,
Dallas Theater Center artistic director, warns. “Some will do theater, but not all of them,” he says. “It’s a massive talent drain.
A number of institutions will fail. In two years after a return to normalcy, failures will begin.” Indeed, already there’s an accumulating cataclysm.
One survey shows that financial losses to arts groups in Dallas and businesses that serve them reached almost $68 million from March through July alone.
Luckier than some in an unlucky business, Moriarty’s DTC is “the only professional regional theater in the country with no layoffs or furloughs among production folks,”
he notes, even though its budget has been cut from $10.5 million last year to $7 million currently.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON But that’s merely a flicker of light in the gloom. Broadway is dark until next summer, at least.
The New York Philharmonic has cancelled its season. So have the Metropolitan Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The Dallas Opera, however, has brave plans to open in March with a new work by Joby Talbot called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly;
Talbot composed the riveting Everest for The Dallas Opera five years ago.
It sounds like a world restored, and certainly Ian Derrer, general director and CEO of The Dallas Opera, can make you believe it might be true.
With a spring season of four productions ahead—knock on wood— plus a special Viva Diva! night
THE SHOW MUST GO ON in May with reigning mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato, he holds on to hope despite his share of furloughs and layoffs.
“I have to ride those waves of optimism,” he says, and keep a “clear vision of what we can achieve.
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