Looking forward to what’s next
By Lisa Krohn, Director of Booking, Hennepin Theatre Trust
Recently, I celebrated 25 years with Hennepin Theatre Trust — 22 of those doing show marketing, and the past three booking shows for our three historic stages. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I love all the things regarding live music experiences, and the excitement and impact of a Broadway show. Now, because of the coronavirus, we’re facing a future that feels more tenuous and fragile than ever. Shows have been canceled, milestones have already been missed, and so many shows have been pushed out into the future. These are hard times, for sure. In hard times I, like so many others, have typically turned to the theater for comfort. Where do we turn now? To non-theater lovers, grieving the loss of live performances in the face of so much widespread suffering may seem, at best, trivial. But for many of us, this has been made even more difficult by having to face it without the ability to be whisked away from reality for a few hours when you walk into a theatre to see a concert, comedian or Broadway show.
Thankfully, our analogue art form has gone digital — musical performances via Instagram Live, the proliferation of new podcasts and play readings over Zoom. Theater and music people are nothing if not resourceful when it comes to reaching an audience. I particularly enjoyed this creative performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from the recent Stephen Sondheim 90th birthday celebration. And it has been helpful to focus on working with our valued partners in the music and entertainment industry to bring the best entertainment back to the Hennepin Theatre District when we’re able to open our physical spaces back up.
Our ability to connect with audiences and one another through technology is useful, but I miss the real thing. I long to set up my portable office in the basement of the theatre, check in with the front of house and box office teams, watch as smiling patrons stream into the theatre and breathlessly wait for the lights to go down and the show to begin, and watch from the wings as the artists, actors and bands take the stage and transport the audiences on a wonderful journey for a few hours.
I continue to be grateful that our organization has other ways to connect with the community through our education and public art initiatives, but I, personally, cannot wait until we can all be together again enjoying the wonder of live entertainment. Until then, be safe and well.
Thanks to our supporters, we are able to instill confidence and community connection in more than 6,000 students statewide through our arts education programs, elevate and financially support the creative works of local artists and provide meaningful arts and cultural experiences to the more than 600,000 people we bring to the Hennepin Theatre District annually. When you make a gift to Hennepin Theatre Trust, you are enabling cultural and economic vitality to flourish statewide. Please support the arts by giving a donation.