CWCW: The Show MUST Go On ft. The Brazos Theater

By Kennedy Sam
Director of Marketing and Communications

This post is an extension of the Conversations with Creative Waco radio program on 103.3 KWBU fm, where we take you behind the scenes of art and culture in Waco. Catch us on the air every fourth and fifth Friday of the month at 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.

From left to right: Beth Richards, Kennedy Sam and Fiona Bond
Photo courtesy of The Brazos Theater

In the world of theatre, to survive you must be able to think in your feet. Whether a cast member forgets a line, you miss an important cue or if the world is put on pause due to a global pandemic…at the end of the day: the show must go on.

For the last two months, theatres, galleries and performing venues in our community and across the country were forced to halt all operations or take them online. On this episode of Conversations with Creative Waco, we’re back in the KWBU studio with Beth Richards, owner and director of the Brazos Theatre. Beth shares how the theatre was able to take their usual in-person improv performances virtual within one week of the shelter-in-place-order taking effect. Since then, they have continued producing online content and the theatre has partnered with local comedian and playwright, Michael McBrine, to create original plays specifically written for Zoom.

Although shops, restaurants and movie theaters have began the reopening process at restricted capacity, theatres doors remain closed due as they navigate the best way to ensure the safety of their performers and audience. Until the Brazos Theatre’s doors reopen, you can catch their most recent play, Super News!, live (via Zoom of course) Sunday, May 24, at 7:30pm. If you’ve missed their previous live stream virtual shows, they’re all archived and avaliable for purchase here! You can support the Brazos Theatre by donating or purchasing their merch on their website or their Make It In Waco shop!

Make It Through Corona Fund

The future is looking tough for some folks we care about…

Many of Waco’s talented artists, performers and arts-based businesses rely on large in-person events; exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and shows for their livelihood. As our community cautiously starts returning to a (socially distant) version of activity, people who usually make their living by bringing us together joyfully and exuberantly to experience art, music, dance or theatre are facing a harsh reality. It could be a long time before they can return to the kinds of in-person events that earn them a living.

To help meet this need, Creative Waco launched the “Make It Through Corona” (MITC) fund to provide mini grants up to $500 to artists, performers and creative businesses so they can do what they do best— take a creative approach to this challenge and make the changes, pivots and pirouettes needed to survive, adapt and even thrive in the face of adversity, for the benefit of our whole community.

When the world stopped, we turned online to music, art, literature, film, theatre, and dance. Talented artists and performers gave us meaning, connection, laughter, distraction, and hope. Now it’s our turn to give the practical support they need to ‘make it’. We all benefit when we have vibrant arts and events. With the right support, our talented artists, performers and creative entrepreneurs will be a major part of our community’s social and economic recovery.

For our arts-loving community members, we invite you to be part of the solution! Here are three easy ways to help:

  • Shop the Make It In Waco online marketplace, or your favorite artist/small business.
  • Share the platform, fund, or artist’s work with your loved ones.
  • Support by donating to the “Make It Through Corona” fund, buying a gift card or in whatever way you can.

Your support is an act of practical encouragement, and a sign of hope for a future beyond COVID-19.

For our creative community, the “Make It Through Corona” fund application is now live and accepting submissions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, evaluated by a diverse panel of community members, and decisions are made within 14 days of receiving an application.