Open to interpretation

I used to teach acting at a community college. The department where I taught was called “visual and performing arts.” The performing arts were vocal and instrumental music, dance, and theater.

While “performing arts” is no doubt an accurate description of what happens when the artist is in front of an audience, I prefer to think of them as “interpretive arts.” I like that term because music and theater performances require a two-step creative process. This is different from photography, illustration, painting, sculpture, and other visual arts, which involve a single artist producing a finished work based on a concept or idea they have devised themselves. There’s seldom a team involved in creating a work of visual art.

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Going back to a (virtual) stage

Nearly all live theater companies and groups have been idle since the world shut down for the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, like everything else, theater artists assumed they would have to postpone or cancel a production or two, but then things would slowly get back to normal.

Eight months later, many groups are still wondering when, if ever, that “normal” is coming. Restrictions on the number of people who can attend a public event are very low in most states, making the economics of a full-blown stage production difficult.

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