Stage Door News
Burlington: The Burlington Performing Arts Centre returns to live performances
Monday, September 14, 2020
In response to public health’s allowance of up to 50 patrons indoors, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) is thrilled to announce a Fall line-up for their STUDIO 50/4 SEASON, with incredible live entertainment options to lift the community’s spirits in these unprecedented times. As a facility, BPAC is perfectly positioned to welcome back audiences with patron safety at the forefront, with its spacious Lobby, increased ventilation, physical-distancing ticketing system and additional health and safety measures to put theatregoers’ minds at ease. Many presenters have pivoted to exploring online content offerings and virtual performances, and while BPAC is also considering live streaming options, the organization believes that there really is no replacement for the experience of live entertainment in engaging the community and in supporting Canadian artists.
Kicking off the STUDIO 50/4 SEASON is an intimate evening with Burlington’s own THE SPOONS on Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3 at 8pm, performing as an acoustic duo. Canadian pop superstar CHANTAL KREVIAZUK will be presented over a three-evening period from October 8 to 10. “We all have a need to connect so badly right now and there is no better way than through the music. If we can do this safely, I am thrilled and well, to be fair to my kids, they could use a break from their mother!” says Chantal.
BPAC’s annual Cultural Diversity Festival will begin with its yearly fundraising performance LEGACY: A Tribute to Gord Downie in support of the Downie-Wenjack Fund, featuring Hamilton's TOM WILSON, Indigenous duo TWIN FLAMES and more on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16. On October 17 and 18 audiences will be treated to BENEATH SPRINGHILL: The Maurice Ruddick Story, about the racial tensions that surfaced in a rural community as a result of a mining disaster, written and performed by Stratford actor Beau Dixon, who seamlessly plays 10 vivid characters. BPAC will also present four performances of DRAG QUEEN MUSIC BINGO with Fluffy Soufflé – each one featuring a different era of music, and tons of exciting prizes to be won!
Two events that had been scheduled for the second half of BPAC’s 19/20 Season, which had to be canceled due the pandemic, have been rescheduled – jazz artist ELISE LEGROW on October 25 and singer/songwriter KEVIN FOX: Songs for Cello & Voice on November 1.
Toronto mainstay the ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE will be presented at BPAC for the first time, in a series of performances over October 30, 31 and November 27 and 28. The October 30 performances will feature actor-comedian SEAN CULLEN with host ALI HASSAN. Other performances will include comics Nigel Grinstead, Keith Pedro, Peter White, Patrick Haye and more.
Multiple Juno-Award winner SARAH SLEAN takes the stage on Saturday, November 7 and CBC Radio host and BPAC favourite TOM ALLEN presents A POE CABARET on Sunday, November 8. Classical pianist LESLIE KINTON Celebrates Beethoven on November 29 and Talk is Free Theatre will present INTO THE WOODS In Concert, a ‘lightly staged’ musical theatre production featuring both professional performers and 27 local youth from December 3 to 12.
All patrons must wear a mask, hand sanitize upon entry and maintain social distancing outside of their social circle. Patrons are expected to self-screen, and of course to stay at home if experiencing COVID-related symptoms or if suspecting recent exposure to the virus. Health and safety measures are also being implemented backstage to protect artists, and throughout the venue to protect staff and volunteers. Most performances will be 70-75 minutes in length, and while the Lobby bar will remain open for one hour prior to each performance, intermissions have been suspended in most cases in order to reduce the risk of overcrowding in the Lobby.
Tammy Fox, BPAC’s Executive Director, is hoping that audiences will return with pent-up enthusiasm after months of having only online access to entertainment, and with a new appreciation of the importance of communal connection. “Putting together a fall season full of incredible Canadian talent over the span of a week has been a little hectic to say the least,” she says, “however the applause really needs to go to our staff, who have been working tirelessly to ensure our safe reopening, to our Board of Directors whose unwavering support in resuming live entertainment offerings has given us the confidence to forge ahead, and to all of the amazing artists who have agreed to be included in the Season – because frankly they have all, in deference to our 50-patron capacity limit, committed to performing at rates well below what they deserve and are accustomed to. It’s been a team effort, and I am beyond grateful to be surrounded by this community of dedicated artists and arts-lovers.”
BPAC Board Chair Nancy Brewer says “We've been holding your seat! And now, what a fantastic fall season we have for you. I’d love to see you in the audience as BPAC welcomes you back, safe, secure & ready to entertain you!”
Visit burlingtonpac.ca for a complete listing of performances.