The Avalon Foundation will present the final two performances of their home grown and self-penned theatre production, “Ho Ho Hope : A Covid Christmas Play”, this Saturday and Monday nights at 7pm. There are tickets available for both shows. The show is sponsored by PNC Wealth Management. Back in August, the organization decided it would try and mount their annual holiday production amidst all of the regulations surround the Covid-19 Pandemic. At the start of rehearsals the show was seen as one that would be aired virtually online and run in front of limited audiences indoors.
Once the new Avalon’s Outdoor Stoltz Pavilion was built the show moved outside and currently has run for 6 performances. “Management thought about all of the safety measures that would need to be in place before we made the decision to go through with this,” said Director Tim Weigand. “We started rehearsals indoors from about 15 feet away from each other with masks on originally. Once we were able to rehearse outside at the new pavilion, that really changed everything for the cast. It was colder for sure, but we knew we could do a live show at that point and the show started to take some shape.” The outdoor pavilion built to seat almost 1000 people, in Covid times seats about 96 people. Seats are arranged in “pods” made up of 4 seat patio sets, 2 seat patio sets and 2 seat high back chairs. Only persons in your “covid bubble” are allowed to sit next to you and each pod set is at least 6 feet away from any other pod. “The show does take place outside so people are encouraged to dress warmly and bring blankets to keep warm. Anything you would wear to a Ravens or Redskins game should do the trick. The show was built to be about an hour long and currently runs about an hour and 5 minutes. But it packs a little bit of punch in that time frame. There is singing (most of it pre-recorded), dancing and drama in the show,” says Weigand.
Ho Ho Hope – A COVID Christmas takes place on the East Coast during the Pandemic of 2020. A mother and full-time arts administrator struggles with her colleague’s and organization’s decision to put on a holiday play during a Pandemic. Calling upon a cast of characters from classic holiday stories and the community at large (all while following CDC protocols), the story emphasizes the challenges we face as we work to adjust to our temporary new world. Watch along. Some jokes land, some don’t. The music is great. Hey… it’s a COVID Christmas. “Theatres and venues have been hurt terribly over the course of the 2020 and the start of 2021 is not looking any better. At The Avalon we have moved all of our operations outdoors and online to keep the business relevant, to present entertainment options to patrons and to offer a place to perform for artists. We hope you will come out to support the performers. The kids have been stripped of everything this year. We really wanted to get the play done so they could feel a little bit of normalcy this year. For about an hour during each performance, I think they feel that,” said Weigand.
Tickets for the show must be ordered online at avalonfoundation.org. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.