NEW BRITAIN – The Hole in the Wall Theater has managed to maintain its space and continue to produce entertainment for its customers, despite the financial and logistical struggles of running a community theater during a pandemic.
The theater was able to do this with the support of a dedicated group of volunteers, including actors, directors, writers, set designers, builders, lighting and sound crews, and most recently, camera operators, along with fundraisers and grants.
The Hole in the Wall Theater is now gearing up for a streaming of “Gruesome Playground Injuries” by Rajiv Joseph, which will be available on April 16 and 17. The love story tells a tale of two people who meet in elementary school, and over the next 30 years, meet again and again, brought together by injury, heartbreak and their own self-destructive tendencies.
The theater closed its doors in March of 2020, following the state mandate, and things started moving again in September when more than 200 people tuned in via Zoom to watch an original production titled “Say Our Names,” which reflected on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Following this, the stage was redesigned to become a film set, taking into account safe practices regarding coronavirus. With the complicated hurdles of obtaining the rights to film published plays and streaming them over the internet, the theater’s first video production was an original piece titled “Scavenger,” written by member Richard Sebastian-Coleman and broadcasted around Halloween.
Then in December the theatre was able to stream the film “This Is Our Youth,” a play by Kenneth Lonergan after obtaining rights to the film. In February, they presented a variety show with participants filming segments in their own homes, and in March, the annual Ceilidh was brought back to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, again with performers safely broadcasting from their homes.