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Asolo Repertory Theatre Goes Virtual To Keep Audience Engaged

Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota is trying to let its audience know what it's doing, both online and through newsletters, while the COVID-19 pandemic prevents the show from going on.

Sara Brunow, the Muriel O’Neil education and engagement director for the company, said one way they’re reaching out is with videos created at home by Nia Sciaretta, Asolo Rep’s production stage manager. 

In Nia Explains It All, Sciaretta quickly provides context and information about terms like “doofer.” She said it’s a portmanteau word, which essentially describes a rehearsal prop that will “do for now."

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"It's really kind of interesting is that we have educators who are using the Nia Explains It All videos as part of their curriculum. And there's some really interesting conversations coming out of that, you know, how you have your students do a doofer challenge, where they have to, you know, using the materials in their home, create a pocket watch or something along those lines,” Brunow said.

Brunow said #AsoloRepEngage is making special opportunities available to the audience.

“People can listen to it and they can hear interviews with directors for the upcoming shows, and they can share tidbits about theater in a way that you wouldn't get by just coming to a performance,” Brunow said.

The company is also making “nuggets” from past musical performances available to the audience on Mondays and asking for input from whomever is tuning in, so Asolo Rep can find out what the audience wants to see and hear until they can make their way to the theater once again. 

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I never know what my work day will bring, because I may be called on at the last minute to cover for someone in news or in Classical music.
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