Even so, Cerny is hardly a prisoner of fate.
He’s putting together a huge gala for the Fort Worth Symphony in February with Yo-Yo Ma at Dickies Arena, where 2,400 seats can be filled with social distancing.
Close by is the Will Rogers Auditorium, where the FWSO had to scramble to open its autumn season when its customary home, Bass Hall, suddenly shut its doors until the end of the year.
Music goes on, though, and the FWSO is paying its staff and musicians “in full [with] some coming and going,” Cerny tells me. Board chair Mercedes T.
Bass has made a generous contribution above her usual gift, and that has helped considerably. The deficit is “under $200,000.”
Concert protocols are in place, similar to those in Dallas, and Cerny doesn’t see this changing.
“We’ll never go back,” he predicts. “We will still have heavy responsibility for the health of musicians and staff,”
Keith Cerny who currently undergo drive-through tests. Subscriptions will fade in favor of single tickets he expects, wondering how he will market single tickets.
“Pandemics will accelerate,” he adds, and while there’s “online pressure” for the music lab he’s offering with a range of digital podcasts and educational materials, that is merely a “bridge toward getting back to live performance.
[Digital is] not enough to sustain everything we do,” he concludes. “There’s not a lot of revenue” in it, no “dollars in the door.”
Five years from now, in his view? “I hope this will be a distant memory [and] people will be hungry to go out.” Moriarty agrees and even uses the same word: hunger.
“Five years from now,” he is convinced, “there will be a hunger for release from isolation, too much screen time.
Live performance is up for grabs one year from now, [but] desperation, innovation will play out in meaningful ways
. . . make art in meaningful ways. . . All will be digital,” he stresses, “is the lazy wisdom of social media and journalism.”
He does not envision “lines permanently blurred between live and digital.”
Nonetheless, the Dallas Theater Center, like every other organization, has pursued a life online, especially with classes and its Public Works Project.
Keith Cerny It will produce a modern filmed version of A Christmas Carol for the holidays.
At the end of October, the DTC signed a 35-week contract with stage actors whose union health insurance will run out if they do not work 17 weeks every six months.
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