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Our Year in Review
December 31, 2020
What a year!
Producing Artistic Director Kathleen Keenan Takes a Look in the Rear-View Mirror:
2020 at Lost Nation Theater
Every year, I’m surprised by all that LNT manages to accomplish with our small but mighty ensemble.
Even this year, despite all the challenges, I was pretty shocked at the amount of work LNT produced.
I was confronted with the with the number of programs we pulled off, because I received my first request from the patient, yet persistent, Jane A - who assembles the annual report for the City of Montpelier - for Lost Nation Theater's summary.
(In a typical year, Jane asks, then cajoles, then begs for my response!)
Mostly Jane wants LNT photos. She LOVES our photos!
A little pessimistically she asked Kim (when he went - masked - to pick up the mail) if we even Had photos of this year.
Kim replied that he was sure we had some - and I would get back to her.
Well I went foraging, and honestly, was blown away by the amount of programming we pulled off this year.
This despite the fact that we've been officially "temporarily closed" since March 13th.
So let’s take a moment to remember and celebrate the good of 2020!
On the Education Front:
Last winter, we created a wonderfully imaginative dance-theater presentation of our original adaptation of “The Little Prince”.
6 professional artists supported 14 students and 2 high-school directing/stage-management interns, going from page-to-stage in just one week.
Then, we pivoted to online: offering one-on-one Storytelling Mentorships for ages 8 & up;
A master class in Social Media with expert Emily Miethner;
and, a four-part Stage Management seminar with AEA SM Laura Krouch!
On the Technical Front:
We re-organized and created new storage systems in the balcony for scenic & costuming items;
We organized the sound booth, and made the sound system user-friendly to accomodate renters' needs.
We replaced/upgraded the antenna for the assisted listening system
We upgraded our lighting system to a state-of-the-art NOMAD programming system,
acquired some new (used) lighting instruments,
and, for the first time ever, installed a repertory lighting plot, designed by Barre native Sam Biondolillo (who got his start with LNT at age 11 and is now a highly sought-after professional designer).
We finished the install just hours before the Governor locked down the State, on March 23.
On the Performance Front:
We scaled the steep learning curve and started putting scenes, songs, and shows online!
We also created our Patreon Page to securely post archival copies of past productions, as well as new content.
Our website is full of greetings from, and interviews with, members of LNT’s extended artistic family, and it’s continually being updated. So, if you haven’t checked it out recently – do it!
Fun fact: Since April, we’ve posted over 50 videos to our website and over 100 to our Patreon Page!
And, we went outside!
In August: We joined Taryn Noelle on the State House Steps for a collaborative concert with her band.
In September: Thanks to Ann Harvey and nearly 2 dozen volunteer artists, we performed a staged reading of Shakespeare’s “Midsommer Nights Dreame” on the State House Steps.
In October: Kim performed Poe’s “The Raven” from atop the City Hall portico, which we live-streamed on Facebook; and,
we celebrated the conclusion of “Montpelier Madness” with a concert of show tunes on the City Hall Steps with me, Taryn Noelle, Susan Reid, and Shanda Williams.
- In November: we offered the premiere reading of Going up the Country – a new play-with-music by Eric Peterson (founder of Old Castle Theatre), and John Foley (Pump Boys & Dinettes).
Back in the Theater:
And, in December: We live-streamed from our stage - with set and lights (thanks to that new rep plot) ,- with multi-camera angles - thanks to a partnership with Theatre Engine and Matthew Bingenot Creations, Willem Lange’s performance of Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story, with a zoomed “after party” for those who watched.
What a thrill it was to be back on stage! It made us excited about the possibility of live-streaming more events from LNT in 2021!
And even tho, you weren't in the theater with us, we felt like you were!
And, with a different light design created by Sam (from said rep plot) and with slight adjustments to our 'yuletide set' - we recorded our 3rd Annual "Stories for the Season"
Following guidelines, only one actor at a time was in the space. These individual stories are being shared on our website with a new story added each week, now through the end of January.
Plus, we hosted several events in the Hall:
The spectacular Montpelier Chamber Orchestra-Moving Light Dance-Janice Walrafen production of Amhal & the Night Visitors;
Spice on Snow – the annual fundraiser for the Summit School;
Green Room Productions & The Montpelier Senior Activity Center’s Staged Reading of Love, Loss, & What I Wore;
And of course, the Art Center welcomed voters on election day.
It was an honor to help City Clerk John Odum determine best use of the space (keeping distancing and traffic flow top of mind)!
and to provide the sound system & help create “Joy to the Polls” with Maggie Lenz & Carolyn Wesley to provide happy music for voters, city staff and election volunteers!
Lost Nation Theater has always strived to be there for our community, just as our community has always been there for us.
We are so grateful! We wouldn’t have made it through this past year without your support.
It's been tremendous and has kept us inspired!
I'm also excited to be able to report that thanks to your enthusiastic response/support of our December programming, Lost Nation Theater has made significant cash contributions to service non-profits: Circle (serving survivors/victims of sexual assault & domestic abuse in central Vermont) and The Haven (fighting hunger and homelessness in the upper valley). Thank You.
In the “lessons learned” category:
We’ve realized that making hard and fast plans right now is just not possible, so we won’t be offering Season Tickets in 2021.
But we Will be back with you in 2021!
We have, lots of ideas are percolating!
More live-stream from LNT, more online masterclasses (in technical theater too), more readings, more outdoor shows.
When the path becomes clear, we’ll be ready to put them in place!
To all who are struggling or grieving – our hearts are with you! Here’s to a healthy and healing 2021!
If you have the means but haven't made a year-end donation to LNT yet, but would like to, you can click here.
(or send a check to LNT< 39 Main Street-City Hall, Montpelier VT 05602)