The London playwright and director Len Cuthbert wanted to do theater this year as it has for years.
At first he had his sights set on London Fringe to present his latest offering, Okay Charlie, but the pandemic put an end to those plans.
Then Cuthbert focused again on the case.
With all the venues still closed, he did what many others had tried: he switched to the virtual theater.
“I’ve seen a lot of people doing these (virtual) shows online, so I cleaned up my garage, built a stage and set, and turned on some lights,” said Cuthbert, who also provided the props. “If you go into my garage now, you think it’s a theater.”
With the help of a grant from the London Arts Council, Cuthbert founded Garage Theater Canada and hired trained actors to rehearse and perform three of his short plays, which are now available on garagetheatre.ca as pay-per-view. Cuthbert charges 99 cents per view.
The pieces include: Okay Charlie, with Haley Kriz and Naomi Simpson; Last Dance, which Kriz performed in London Fringe in 2019 and is part of Reunited Shorts, a collection of six Cuthbert pieces published by Dramatic Publishing; and Death of an Epitaph, performed by Simpson and Lauryn Andersson.
Cuthbert said the plays will be “recorded as they would be seen in a theater,” and anyone who pays to stream a show this month will get their email for a Byron Pizza gift card.
“We just wanted to do something to give local actors the chance to keep acting or we’d all just sit around doing nothing.”