Pop-Up Offers Live Theater, Music Under the Stars
STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK
A pop-up potpourri of theater, dance and music will help fill the void the COVID pandemic has created in live theater, ballet and outdoor concerts this summer.
Field Daze of Summer 2020 will kick off on Thursday, July 30, serving up a variety of live cabaret-style type shows outside on the Reinheimer lawn across from the historic Reinheimer Ranch at Ketchum’s south end.
Shows will feature a variety of entertainers ranging from alum and students in the Wood River High School Performing Arts Academy to Sun Valley’s “Funny Man” Mike Murphy, who has been spreading the gospel of laughs and song for 43 years.
It’s hoped the shows can run into September.
“I called a meeting when it became clear a month ago that local theater companies were having to cancel their summer seasons, said Cathy Reinheimer, who has long been involved in the local theater scene. “A group of us came together to figure out a way to put up a pop up that would be very COVID safe for audience and performers. And we felt like we could accomplish that on our private property, on the east field in the back of my house.”
The 90-minute shows will be limited to 75 audience members to allow for physical distancing. Spectators must make reservations beforehand online. There will be parking on the property.
A disinfectant protocol will include an antiviral defogger spray. Attendees must bring their own lawn chairs or blankets, picnics and beverages. And each must wear masks or face shields and distance
Actors and musicians also will wear face shields designed by MIT for surgeons that allow them to perform safely while still allowing the audience to see their facial expressions.
Kagen Albright, a graduate of the WRHS Performing Arts Academy who has since worked with various theater companies around the valley, said it’s time for live entertainment to bring the community back together during these uncertain times, albeit at a distance.
“We need to laugh and feel part of our community again and the only way it will happen at this point is through a grassroots effort,” added Albright, who is headed to Westford to study theater this fall.
Reinheimer agreed: “I’ve been completely diligent with practicing healthy protocols because I have an aging parent whom I want to visit. Still, it’s been too long since any of us have been able to enjoy an anxiety-free night where we can laugh and enjoy the local talent. It’s time if it can be done safely, and we feel it can.”
The lineup so far:
Thursday and Friday, July 30-31, 7:30 p.m.: Wood River High School Showcase in which alum and current students in WRHS’s Performing Arts Players will present comic and zany pieces and musical numbers from hit shows of the past few years. The Academy’s One-Act Shows presentation was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. And Reinheimer is hoping that the show will be able to include a piece written and directed by Max Gardenswartz. Other participants are Sarah Feltman, Taylor Telford, Juliette Rollins, Annabelle Lewis and Koi Lauritsen. Tickets are $5.
Mike Murphy, who got his start at Disneyland and has since appeared with the Smothers Brothers and Jerry Seinfeld, will perform his comedy/music routine Thursday and Friday, Aug. 13-14. He will donate the proceeds from the $20 tickets to the Sun Valley Culinary Institute.
Murphy’s shows will start at 8:30 p.m. The open-air tent opens at 7:30 p.m.
To buy tickets and to keep abreast of new performances as they’re announced, visit https://www.fielddaze2020.org.