Jobsite bumps season opener to 2021 due to pandemic
TAMPA — On Aug. 3, Jobsite Theater announced that its production of “Dr. Ride’s American Beach House” — meant to open the 2020-21 season — will be moved from September 2020 to September 2021 due to the pandemic.
Passholders do not need to do anything at this time and will be notified of the new dates soon. Jobsite’s suspended production of “Doubt: A Parable” will resume as soon as it is safe and prudent to do so. Ticket holders for “Doubt” will be contacted as soon as new dates are confirmed.
In a statement, Jobsite Theater reflected on the state of theater during COVID-19.
“When we shut our doors March 13, what was to be the opening night of ‘Doubt,’ we assumed this was a brief pause and we’d be out for one or two months,” David Jenkins said in a press release. Jenkins is producing artistic director at Jobsite. “Now approaching the fifth month, we’re still not sure when we’ll be able to welcome audiences back for another great reckoning in our little room. The decision to re-open is not exactly ours alone to make, and simply put the numbers must come down before we, the unions, the city, or the Straz Center will consider it.”
Jenkins points out that many theaters have already called entire seasons or, in some cases, large parts of the 2020-21 season.
“Most of those organizations are pretty large, with corresponding staff, overhead, and contractual obligations,” Jenkins said. “The time and resources needed to plan, plan again, cancel those plans, and plan some more is a losing battle for many, and so I do not necessarily fault all of those decisions.”
But Jobsite is more nimble that some, according to Jenkins.
“We only have one full-time and one part-time staff member and very little overhead compared to most institutional theaters,” he explained. “We are also first and foremost an artists’ company, an ensemble, and if we’re not producing our artists aren’t working.”
According to Jenkins, more than two-thirds of all American artists are completely unemployed right now, including a number of Jobsite favorites?
“This is why we’ve chosen to continue to react day-by-day, week-by-week, as this crisis unfolds with our eyes on getting our people back to work as soon as we can safely and viably do so,” Jenkins said. “We’re evaluating where we are at any given time looking ahead eight weeks, which will allow us enough time to react and get a show up (or not) should things change (or not).”
When “Dr. Ride’s American Beach House” — the season opener — fell within that eight-week window, Jobsite had to make the call.
“From where things stand today, we don’t see either of those things being safe in September of 2020,” Jenkins said. But that doesn’t mean the production is lost. “Instead of canceling anything, we’re simply picking the show up from this year and moving it to Sept. 8-Oct. 3 of 2021.”
For now, the plan is that the season will get underway with “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,” running Oct. 23-Nov. 15.
“Passholders do not need to do anything,” Jenkins added. “The Straz Center will move tickets to the corresponding dates in 2021. If the new date doesn’t work for any reason, passholders always enjoy unlimited free exchanges. Single tickets were not yet on sale.”
Jenkins said that theaters were among the first places to shut down, and will be among the last able to reopen. But during the closure, they have had plenty of time to plan for that reopening.
“In addition to an extensive health and safety playbook, we’ve re-configured the audience chamber in a way that allows for distancing by reducing the number of chairs to 26 and spreading them apart by at least 6 feet between parties,” he said. “We have a few other non-mainstage plans to get artists back to work like our new call for digital shorts, but everything live still rests on getting the numbers down.”
Jobsite Theater is a professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater company that has been serving the Tampa Bay area since 1998. Most of its productions occur in the Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa, where Jobsite is the official resident theater company. For information, visit www.jobsitetheater.org.
Belleair author publishes book of short stories
BELLEAIR — “Big in Heaven,” by Belleair resident Stephen Siniari, is the first in a series of short stories about life in an American inner-city parish: Fishtown, Philadelphia, the author’s childhood neighborhood.
The book makes for lively coffee-hour discussion after church, and the characters and how they deal with life’s issues, provide for a great pot-luck Lenten retreat topic. “Big in Heaven” would even serve as a training for new pastors.
Published by Ancient Faith Media, a California-based publisher of religious literature, “Big in Heaven” is available online at Amazon. Visit www.amazon.com/Big-Heaven-Collection-American-Orthodox-ebook/dp/B08CLV84GV. The book also may be purchased at the publisher’s website, online at store.ancientfaith.com/big-in-heaven.
“Big in Heaven” features two dozen short stories that read like chapters in a single-themed novel. Relationship is the topic in all the stories.
The author is a retired priest of the OCA Diocese of the South. During almost 40 years in ministry, Siniari served parishes in New England and the Philadelphia/South Jersey area while working full time for an international agency as a street outreach worker, serving homeless, at-risk, and trafficked teens. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Siniari currently lives on the Florida Gulf Coast with Margot, his wife of more than 40 years.
Ruth Eckerd Hall reschedules upcoming concert
CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall has rescheduled the Firefall, Poco and Pure Prairie League concert set for Friday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m. The new concert date is Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets purchased for the original concert date will be honored on the new date. Tickets start at $38.75 and are on sale now. Visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
Firefall is a group of exceptional musicians and singers, with a repertoire of radio recognizable chart-topping songs few bands can match. Their layered harmonies backed by driving rhythms transcends many genres from rock to country. The band saw success with hits such as “You Are the Woman,” “Strange Way” and “Just Remember I Love You.”
Country rock pioneers Poco found platinum success early in their career and four decades later Rusty Young, who wrote and sang the massive hits “Crazy Love” and “Call It Love,” still leads this incredible band. Other hit songs include “Heart of the Night,” “Spellbound,” “Keep on Tryin’” and “Good Feelin’ to Know.” In 2013, Poco released “All Fired Up,” their first studio album in 13 years.
From their beginnings in mid-1960s Ohio as a group of friends playing cover tunes to the present day unit featuring founding member/pedal-steel innovator John David Call, veteran bassist Mike Reilly, drummer Scott Thompson and guitar ace Donnie Clark, Pure Prairie League continues to embellish the rich 47-year history of one of country-rock’s pioneering forces. The band reached mainstream success by the mid-1970s with hit songs like “Amie,” “Falling in and out of Love” and “Let Me Love You Tonight.”
Clearwater seeks muralists
CLEARWATER — The city of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency, in partnership with the Clearwater Public Art and Design Program, is seeking artists to design and paint a series of murals on public and private properties throughout Downtown Clearwater.
Applications are currently open for artists through Sept. 1, 2020. Finalists will be notified by Sept. 18. The stipend for each mural will range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the size and complexity of the artwork. Artists are welcome to use Clearwater’s history, signature events and physical environment as inspiration. Murals must be completed by Jan. 31, 2021.
This call to artists is phase two of the Downtown Clearwater Mural Program, a large-scale public art program through the CRA that aims to create a high-quality public realm which weaves art and culture into the fabric of everyday life.
The call to artists for the second iteration of the Downtown Clearwater Mural Program can be found online at downtownclearwater.com/mural-program. For the artist application, visit bit.ly/clwmuralsphase2.
The first iteration of the Downtown Clearwater Mural Program asked artists to design and paint a mural that is inspired by the city of Clearwater’s past, present and future. Four murals were created and completed by January 2019 throughout downtown.
Earlier this summer, the CRA and Clearwater Arts Alliance launched a virtual map and tour of the art sites throughout downtown. The virtual map has more than two dozen murals, sculptures, signal box art, and creative placemaking projects — with more to come. Murals created in this phase of the Downtown Clearwater Mural Program will be listed on the Downtown Arts & Culture Map once completed. Visit downtownclearwater.com/arts-and-culture-tour.
For questions on the program, email Christopher Hubbard, the city’s cultural affairs coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 727-562-4067.
Studio 1212 to present ‘Make Your Mark’
CLEARWATER — An opening reception for “Make Your Mark” will take place Sunday, Sept. 13, noon to 3 p.m., at Studio 1212, 1405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.
The public is invited. Masks are required. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees will celebrate the newly renovated art gallery while viewing the new exhibit. “Make Your Mark” will continue through Oct. 14.
The gallery is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shoppers can also take advantage of the virtual gallery store online at www.studio1212.org.
For information, call 727-999-1524.
Temptations, Four Tops concert moved to December 2021
CLEARWATER — The band that took the song “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” to the top of the charts in 1972 is rollin’ its upcoming concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall back a few months.
The Temptations were originally scheduled to perform Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall as part of a double bill with The Four Tops. That concert has been moved to Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Tickets will be honored for the new date. Tickets, starting at $45, are on sale now. Visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
Celebrating 60 years, The Temptations have prospered, propelling popular music with a multitude of award-winning and chart-topping songs and albums, and sold-out performances throughout the world. Thanks to their fine-tuned choreography and even finer harmonies, The Temptations became the first Motown act to win a Grammy Award and are one of the most successful acts to record for the label. During the group’s prolific career, they’ve charted numerous No. 1 hits including “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Get Ready,” and “Just My Imagination,” among many others. The group was inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, named by Billboard Magazine the No. 1 R&B Artists of All Time and one of the 125 Greatest of All Time Artists, in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Rolling Stone magazine also listed the group in their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Temptations are also the subject of a smash hit, Tony Award-Winning Broadway musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations,” which opened in 2019.
The Four Tops have been thrilling audiences with their infectious blend of pure vocal power and sweet harmonies since 1954. The Four Tops became one of Motown’s most consistent hit makers with songs like “Baby, I Need Your Loving,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)” and many more well-known hits. The group was inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. Rolling Stone magazine listed the group in the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.