The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts will present a virtual ‘reading performance’ of ‘Escanaba in Da Moonlight’ available on Saturday, May 23rd. at 7:30 PM. Written by actor/musician and Michigan native Jeff Daniels, the comedy depicts the hunting season adventures of a group of Michigan ‘Yuppers’. The show ran on the Ramsdell stage two years ago to rave reviews and very appreciative audiences.
The one-performance only is being presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. of New York. The Ramsdell’s Executive Director, Xavier Verna, noted that “This is an exclusive performance to our mailing list subscribers. They can subscribe right from our website at www.RamsdellTheatre.org.”
“In unprecedented times like these, we have to learn how we can reach our audiences in new ways,” Verna added. “I want to thank Rick Plummer for being open to this project,” he said. “This is a ‘new normal’ for The Ramsdell,” Verna explained, “as we sort through the hurdles of directing and performing a play from 6 different locations, one point-of-view (the actors’ faces), and a narrator.” Verna stated that he attended the first ‘virtual’ rehearsal and thought, “while we don’t have a beautiful set, lighting, and the feedback from the audience, the actors were fully committed and doing a tremendous job in their new environment.” He added that this might be the first of such presentations on the organization’s website, depending on the length of the current crisis.
Verna said while the event is free to the Ramsdell’s mailing list subscribers, “we would ask for everyone to consider donating to the RRCA during or after the webcast.” “During these unprecedented times, while our outreaches have been minimized, the support from the entire community is tremendously appreciated.” “While we always depend on the support from our donors and revenue from program tickets, we have been tremendously grateful for those who have continued to contribute during this time,” Verna cited.
“We also want to help others in any way we can,” Verna stated. “For all donations, the RRCA receives the day of the webcast, a portion will be donated to the Manistee County Community Foundation’s ‘Community Response Fund’ that’s assisting other ‘front-line’ care groups during this crisis.” “We really ARE all in this together,” Verna added. The RRCA is also partnering with local artists, like Mary Wahr, and selling their artwork through a virtual gallery. A majority of those sales go to the artist.
Verna noted that since the arts are an essential asset for community engagement and impact, “we encourage the audience to do take-out from their favorite local restaurant, then curl up and watch this unique webcast. We’ll share some positive messages throughout the program, and are excited to have James Beaudrie of Manistee Beverage as our host. You’re in for a wonderful time”.