Lots of Safety Precautions for Holiday Shows This Year – Slog

The gang is here Scott shoemaker

Christmas is back! And the war too.

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“We’re in the thick of it,” says Scott Shoemaker, taking a break from rehearsals for his traditional local holiday show, Scott Shoemaker’s War at Christmas! “It’s the same format as always, a ’70s variety show that goes wrong,” he says. “This year we are doing a twisted version of A Christmas Carol. “

Last year’s show was an entirely virtual affair, which, as we’ve all come to recognize, is fine, of course, Zoom shows will do. But now the show is back with in-person performances, starring Scott and his castmates Waxie Moon, Adé, Faggedy Randy and Mandy Price, with production assistance from Scott’s partner Freddy Molitch (aka DJ King of Pants).

So does that mean that everything is back to normal? Well, no, not quite.

“There are COVID restrictions everywhere,” Scott says, referring to complicated rehearsals and public safety. Another concern: “How elements of the supply chain affect us, in terms of ordering and manufacturing accessories. … Not to mention that we took a whole year off and everyone is traumatized.

This has left artists like him and his team in a tight spot, he says. “The main goal is just to be funny. And it’s not that easy to be funny right now.

But if the past is any guide, they are up to the challenge. Although every year War at Christmas The show takes a similar format, the content is always brand new – and as of this year the venue is too, transposed from Re-bar (RIP) to Theater Off Jackson. Scott sees the move as an opportunity to refresh himself and feels optimistic about his return to the stage after a successful series of his Ms. Pak-Man show last September.

“Right before the world closed, we were set to do a Ms. Pak-Man in March 2020,” he says – but you probably knew that already. When the city closed its doors last year, every power pole on Capitol Hill appeared to have a tattered poster of Ms. Pak-Man stuck to it, floating like an environmental narrative in a Publication date Game. Now, after nearly two years of quarantine, awkwardly spaced cafe seats, and Zoom parties, we’re finally ready to fall back into something old-fashioned.

“People are willing to try to get their lives back to normal,” Scott says. “They’re looking for what they were doing before the world collapsed. People are happy to revisit traditions.

If this is the case for the public, it is twofold for the creators.

“Doing these shows and being a performer is part of who we are,” he says. “If you talk to people about the performing arts, you haven’t just lost your job, you’ve lost the meaning of your life, a big part of yourself. It’s more than just a job; it’s about who you are.

The lack of live theater has left a noticeable void in the lives of performers and patrons, especially during the holidays when darkness dominates and we all need to generate the light we can on our own. The War at Christmas the crew take all possible precautions to ensure a safe race, including consulting with UW virologists on safety procedures. Nonetheless, in these uncertain times, the unexpected is to be expected: during Ms. Pak-Man’s show in September, Scott says, if there had been any outbreaks “we were prepared at any time to cancel the show. . No matter how much work we put in, how much money we spent, safety was a priority. “

This is also the case for the Christmas show. “If any of the cast members are receiving COVID right now, the show is canceled,” he says. “It’s reality now.”

Putting on a show under these constraints is a risky proposition, as it means that all the work and money invested in the production could be wasted. Why take such a risk?

“I think the main reason is that it’s part of who we are,” Scott says. “It seems conceited to say to yourself, ‘people want to see us’, but in general art is very important in people’s lives.”

Ultimately, he says, “being around other people and being able to laugh and share live performances is something our souls need. If we can take the risk of doing it, I think it’s really worth it. “

Scott Shoemaker’s War at Christmas! operates most of the month of December.

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Susan W. Lloyd