Everyman Theatre today announced that it would resume producing theater live and in person by continuing the run of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains on November 19. Everyman had been producing the one-actor play, which features Felicia Curry as Jacqueline Marie Butler, when the pandemic shut down production in March.
“There’s something that just feels right about picking up where we left off when we were forced to shut down last season,” Everyman Artistic Director Vincent Lancisi said. “The Queens Girl plays are such a magical trilogy…I know many who saw both [earlier] plays are eager to see what happens to Jaqueline Marie Butler. My desire is that returning to live theatre will give us all hope and inspiration for better days ahead!”
“The story is uniquely, wonderfully Jackie’s,” DCTS’ Jayne Blanchard said in this review of the production in March, “but Jennings’ storytelling abilities are so embracing that you are transported back to the exhilarating uncertainties and ‘who am I today?’ escapades of college life. The audience laughed, hmmm-ed and nodded in recognition as Curry swept us through Jackie’s four years at Bennington, the crowd clapping and leaping to their feet at the sight of Jackie near the end in her tasseled cap as if we were the ones graduating.”
Everyman has instituted some significant protocols to make in-person viewing as safe as possible. All patrons must wear face masks; staff will take patrons’ temperatures before they enter; and attendees will have to fill out a health questionnaire when ordering tickets online. In addition, box office personnel will wear masks and gloves. The theater has installed touchless soap dispenses in the washrooms and have turned off the drinking fountains. There will be hand sanitizers throughout the lobby. Elevator occupancy will be limited to a single party (no strangers on your train) and the HVAC system has been upgraded to MIRV-13, which is the recommendation of the American Society of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers as optimal to fight the spread of COVID. The first row of theater seats will be unoccupied, and the theater itself will be opened at limited capacity. You can read a complete description of Everyman’s precautions by going to this link.
Queens Girl kicks off what Everyman says will be a 2020-21 season which “includes six productions in the downstairs theatre and brand-new upstairs theatre, as well as six additional digital experiences (6-Pack@Home) that will be a mix of radio plays, readings, and a special musical event. The season will also include a Salon Series of staged readings which will be announced at a later date.”
Other productions in the planned Everyman season include Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out, in which Lina and Jessie, neighbors and new mothers both, face bewildering challenges together; Berta, Berta, Angelica Cheri’s story of two lovers and a shocking crime in the shadow of Parchman Penitentiary (DCTS’ review of the CATF production here); Dominque Morriseau’s Pipeline, in which a divorced schoolteacher struggles to keep her son out of harm’s way (Studio Theatre’s production of the play reviewed by DCTS here); Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensible, in which two sisters – one sensible, and one hypersensitive – cope with the sudden death of their father and the potential loss of their wealth and social status (our review of the Folger Theatre production is here); and Robert Harling’s classic Steel Magnolias, in which six women, friends and neighbors in Northwestern Louisiana with distinct personalities and backgrounds, face great vicissitudes together. Everyman has not announced dates for these shows.Subscriptions to Everyman’s season are available now. Single tickets for Queens Girl will go on sale November 9.
The company will offer pay-what-you-can performances on November 17 and 18, but you must order these tickets in advance. Tickets will not be sold at the door. The company intends to offer a streaming-service option to see Queens Girl, but has not yet announced what those arrangements will be.