There’s a saying in theatre that “the show must go on,” and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) has been doing just that. The coronavirus crisis has resulted in an abrupt end to TCT’s 2019-20 MainStage season, as well as myriad class and event cancellations. But despite these challenges, TCT weathered the COVID-19 storm, pivoting to keep Cincy kids engaged and connected.
Cincinnati Parent talked to TCT producing artistic director Roderick Justice about TCT Everywhere, how the arts connect us and what’s next for Cincinnati’s beloved children’s theatre.
It’s been a tumultuous last few months. How are you holding up?
We are all doing well and doing our best to stay creative as we continue to plan the future of TCT. Of course, this is all on top of a giant pivot in current programming to make sure we keep audiences engaged while under quarantine.
What are you doing to keep TCT up and running during this time?
TCT was swift to respond by creating a new online platform: TCT Everywhere, which quickly gained regional and national attention. Through our website and social media, patrons from near and far are able to engage the entire family in TCT Everywhere through theatrical activities, contests, tutorials, fun crafts and recordings of full productions from past TCT seasons. Our educational staff curated satellite content, themed to past TCT productions where were streamed to the public from our video archives. We made the conscious decision to provide TCT Everywhere for free to assure we were serving all economic backgrounds.
What are some of the ways you’re staying connected with the community/helping the community during this time?
With each production streamed through TCT Everywhere, we have reached out to community partners to host Facebook Watch Parties. Through partnerships with Cincinnati Parent and Local 12, we have been able to reach a wider audience and connect our community to TCT’s mission.
Right now, everything still feels very uncertain. What are you hoping for the future? How can Cincinnati parents help?
TCT’s first priority is the safety of our patrons and staff. We look forward to the day we are all able to gather again live. Until that day, we will continue our mission online through virtual productions, classes and activities.