The implications from the COVID-19 shutdown been far and wide, but few have been as affected as musicians and other artists who rely on in-person performances to make a living. Theaters and music venues have been forced to close their doors and bands have been relegated to streaming performances with little hope of resuming their tours anytime soon.
This week, The Goodman Theatre in Chicago is paving the way for in-person performances to resume, albeit not in the traditional way. On Sept. 17, Goodman launched the first of nine public performances of Cheryl West's 'Fannie Lou Hamer: Speak on It'. Instead of the normal theater, the performance took place on a 24-foot stage trailer in Hamilton Park.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, it is "the first post-COVID theatrical endeavor in Chicago authorized under all four unions commonly affiliated with live musical and dramatic productions: Actors Equity, IATSE (The International Alliance of Stage Employees), the SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers Society), and the Musicians Guild."
The performances are free to the public and held in nine different Chicago parks where attendees can socially distance, but it's an important step in allowing public performances to resume.
“In April or so, we realized we were dreaming if we thought we’d be able to open a show in the theater as soon as November,” said play director Henry Godinez. “That was heartbreaking. But then I thought shoot, man. Why don’t we get a truck and take the theater to the people since the people can’t come to us?”
That's a model that could be used by theaters in other large cities, as well as musical artists. A band could lease a stage trailer for a tour and book performance dates in open spaces where fans can socially distance. That opens up more options than outdoor theaters because the stage travels with the band. All they have to do is pull into position, open the stage, and it's ready to go.
Our stage trailers have been used by bands for local festivals and sponsor activations, such as at New Holland's space at the 2019 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
The trailer that Goodman Theater is using will be available to lease in early October, and we have a few other stage trailers arriving within the next few weeks. These will be available for lease or purchase, first-come first-served. Our fabrication team can wrap the trailer to match your brand and install lighting or any other need you have.
Interested? Give us a call at 630-524-2029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.