2020-2021 Season Update from LASC’s Executive Artistic Director
As many of you know, September is the time of year when we launch our new season. That has been true for the past 26 years running and, despite the pandemic, that is what we planned – we hoped – to do this year. Unfortunately, after lengthy discussions with officials from Santa Clara County, this will not be possible, and we have made the decision to postpone launching our 20-21 season for the time being.
Last spring, when we envisioned our 20-21 season, we anticipated that circumstances on the ground would be different and that we would be able to bring artists and audiences together in the theater sometime this fall – albeit at a substantially limited capacity.
Unfortunately, the virus proved this thinking wildly optimistic. So, we regrouped and reimagined our shows as live stream performances without audiences and/or as outdoor events where audiences could socially distance (both of which a few colleague organizations had done recently with some success). However, when we approached the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health with our plans to reopen, we were told in no uncertain terms that both options would, regardless of whatever safety procedures were put in place, violate the County and State public health orders.
So where does that leave us? Honestly, that remains uncertain. We could, like others, move our productions to virtual platforms such as Zoom or Twitch, where artists sit in front of their computers and perform virtual readings from the safety of their homes. However, after seriously exploring this option, we have decided that this would not benefit the plays we selected – and by extension our audience experiences of these plays. As a result, we have decided to wait and, while waiting, to work with our local colleagues to advocate for the County and State to create clear and safe guidelines for reopening theaters. (Right now, all four stages of the governor’s reopening plan for the State have live indoor theaters closed with no exceptions or waivers.)
At this point, we ask for your continued patience and support as we try to navigate as best we can an incredibly challenging time for all of us. We want to get back to working with local artists to provide the highest quality theater experience for our audiences. And we will. But it is just going to take more time to ensure that it is done in line with County and State orders for safely reopening. When that will be is an open question. It now appears likely that it won’t be until 2021, at which time we will present all 5 plays in our season. However, if it is sooner, if we are successful in our efforts to advocate for a phased reopening of theater that includes live streaming, we will reopen our season as quickly as possible.
In the interim, we are excited about the opportunity to bring you some new virtual educational programming, including classes for youth and adults, as well as to develop other types of virtual events that support local artists and maintain our connection with you. We will be formally announcing these exciting new programs soon.
In support of our efforts, we still very much need and ask for the community’s continued financial support, whether as a donation or by purchasing our flexible subscription pass that will be good for any and all of our next season’s shows once we are able to present them.
As I said back in June, the challenges we face this year are going to require an enormous amount of improvisation – and adaptation – to successfully navigate. With your continued support and understanding, that is exactly what we intend to do.
Stay healthy and safe,
Executive Artistic Director
The enthusiastic and generous support of the community and people like you is what keeps Los Altos’ only neighborhood theater alive and thriving.
Welcome aboard to our new Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education, Gary Ferguson. Gary brings years and arts and arts education to Los Altos Stage and we are thrilled to have him as part of our artistic team.
Dive a little deeper into our history and don’t forget to check out our archive of past shows.