Live, in-person performances have returned to the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s downtown outdoor venue Annette Strauss Square. And in a sign audiences are eager for live performing arts, all three performances sold out in advance.
The first two performances were presentations of the Elevator Project, the Center’s initiative to support small and emerging Dallas arts groups. The first was a night of flamenco jazz on Saturday, September 11 with Memorias Flamencas, by Julia Alcantara’s Flamenco Fever dance company. B. MOORE DANCE took the stage last Friday with ROOTED: Envisage Dance Installations, a modern dance production, including numbers set to music by Donny Hathaway. Saturday night’s Night on the Trinity featured Ballet North Texas, with performances by Bruce Wood Dance and Frontier Ballet. The multi-media choral group Verdigris Ensemble also recently held a fundraiser in Strauss Square.
All arts venues in Dallas were closed March 13 during the pandemic-related shutdown with a handful now reopening, including downtown museums and the Meyerson Symphony Center. To reopen, the Center has been focused on reducing costs in Strauss Square so local groups would have a place to perform while their usual spaces remain closed. The Center has also implemented extensive health and safety protocols established by the CDC, state and local authorities to protect patrons, staff and artists.
Measures include reduced-capacity audiences, socially-distanced seating for groups on the lawn and mask requirements (when not seated). The Center is also moving to touch-free experiences, including ticketing, QR codes for show programs and adoption of the Noble application for pre-purchasing food and beverages for pickup to avoid waiting in lines with others. (Download for free from your app store. Enable notifications to receive texts when your order is ready.)
Backstage, all artists and staff receive temperature checks before entering and heightened cleaning procedures are in place. The Center has installed acrylic barriers in dressing rooms, socially distanced waiting areas off stage, and sanitation/mask stations so artists can grab fresh masks just as they leave the stage.
More performances and events are being planned for later this fall.
You can support the Center’s work to provide performance space to local organizations during the pandemic. Text a gift to the Raise the Curtain Fund by texting ATTPACGIVE (all caps) to 20222. $20, $50, whatever works for you. Or give online. For a full list of Raise the Curtain donors, click here. We’d love to add your name to the list!
Photos by Nate Rehlander