Hard-hit Brooklyn Theatre to go entirely online

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Sep 12, 2020

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Pretoria - AFTER bringing Pretoria residents live musical performances for 26 years, the Brooklyn Theatre will, as a result of Covid-19, be leaving its popular physical home to go online.

The theatre opened its doors as Salon Music in 1994 in Brooklyn, but moved to its current location at the Greenlyn Centre in Menlo Park in 2010.

This week, director Jean-pierre Verster said the arts sector, and in particular theatre, had been hard-hit by the pandemic and the subsequent national lockdown.

“As an artist myself, I can’t begin to explain what an unspeakably hard time it has been for artists during this lockdown.”

But, said Verster, the wave of the digital era had presented new opportunities to adapt, and for the arts to venture into.

Brooklyn Theatre has not been the only local theatre hard hit by the lockdown and they, with the Atterbury Theatre at Lynnwood Bridge, have been working online.

The South African State Theatre also announced they would be streaming productions on their Youtube channel.

Verster was grateful that their loyal music followers had responded well to online performances as they could also reach their older members who were less likely to travel.

“We have people who moved away, who missed coming to our concerts and opera performances. Now they have access to them from the comfort of their own homes using any browser-enabled device.”

As it is, he said they had 60 high-quality concerts available and were making sure there was something new on offer every Friday with a payas-you watch option or a subscription. Popular is Willem’s Choice, which features artists who performed for Salon Music, the GPO and Brooklyn Theatre.

“At the moment we are in the process of recording two more shows to also be posted on the channel.

“We’re not closing, just looking for a new home, but in the meantime it will be presented like Salon Music in earlier years – using a variety of venues.”

The Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra, which features close to 40 artists and is a crowd pleaser, can perform in any venue and share. For now, audiences can look out for the Gaufestival which will be presented online during October, and the musical adaptation of the American comedy-drama Fiddler on the Roof, to be presented in December.

Pretoria News

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