Open Book Theater in Trenton announces new Driveway play


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It seems like everything is being called off these days. But cancellations can create new opportunities, as the Open Book Theater Company (OBTC) in Trenton is finding out. Following the cancellation of three previously scheduled performances in their theater, they offer an outdoor and socially distanced play about how everything is canceled!

At the end of June, Open Book began carrying the show on the road and in people’s backyards with their Driveway Theater. They’ve performed in walkways, parking lots, courtyards, back decks, and park pavilions in front of audiences ranging in size from 4 to 32. Social distancing guidelines are followed and safety is key.

“Our hosts and audience continue to thank us for this. They are delighted that we have a safe way to come together and laugh together,” said OBTC Artistic Director Krista Schafer Ewbank. “We don’t just entertain them, but we actually bring them together as a community. Family, friends, neighbors, groups. They need a way to come together and be together. It’s so much fun. and exciting to live our mission in this new way. “

Driveway Theater was so popular that Open Book ordered a new script, suitable for all ages, which will be available for booking until October 4. Local playwright, actor, and improviser Sean Paraventi wrote 2020: The Year They Called It All Off. The story centers on Emily, who is upset that her graduation and birthday has been canceled. Now Twitter has proclaimed that fall is off. Audiences will enjoy a crazy 30 minutes as Emily’s family, friends, and a few unexpected guests (all played by 1 actor!) Help her come to terms with today’s reality. Playwright Paraventi explains that “2020 has not been the easiest year. While writing this piece, I tried to keep that in mind, reflecting on all that we go through, while providing a fun escape for our audience. Laughter is never more important than time. like these, and I think this wonderful cast will provide you with a lot. ”The show is played by Ryan Ernst and Tiaja Sabrie, two actors from the Detroit metro who live together and therefore can perform without having to distance themselves socially or to refrain from touching each other.

In addition to the scripted show, OBTC continues to offer the improvised Off Book Away From Open Book. The performances encourage audience participation for themes, lines and more, as performers play games and make up stories on the spot. In one of the games, the improvisers interview the animators, then perform their life story for the guests, with some artistic liberties, of course. The audience of friends and family burst into laughter at the wild performances.

Pam Miller, Senior Coordinator for the Town of Woodhaven, brought the Driveway Theater to her group of seniors. “I enjoyed how easy it was to book the event, and on the night of the show it was just as easy to walk right into some LIVE entertainment! I watched my crowd and they laughed and got together. have fun … Thank you sooooooo so much for continuing your craft, for bringing us smiles during a pandemic and in a SAFE and COMFORTABLE way! “

Reservations for the Driveway Theater start at $ 100, with additional charges for travel beyond the Downstream.

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