Paramount Theatre announced the launch of Connection: A Social Media Concert Series, an all-new online campaign to find new ways for artists and audiences to connect with each other while the public is asked to shelter in place.

Connection is a multi-week virtual music theater series meant to encourage both emerging and veteran songwriters and playwrights to use this time to create new work and keep patrons entertained in an innovative new way, according to a news release.

“In the few days, we have all been advised to socially distance ourselves, it’s become clear that we need to find ways to stay in touch now more than ever,” Amber Mak, the Paramount's New Works Development Director, stated in the release. “While we may not be able to bring you live theater right now, Paramount’s New Works Department has conceived this social media concert series to keep people connected until we can all see each other again at the theater.”

Every Wednesday for the next three weeks, Paramount’s New Works Department will unveil a new theme for the series and post guidelines for submissions for that week’s topic.

Today, Paramount announced the first weekly theme for the series: student work.

Student songwriters, whether in high school, college, or any student who has learned their school won’t be in session for the foreseeable future, are encouraged to write, perform and submit an original song on video about their connection to their school. The deadline to submit is April 1 at midnight.

To submit a video, email a downloadable link (Dropbox, Google Drive, for example) to Paramount’s New Works Department at newworks@paramountarts.com. If filming with a cell phone, horizontal orientation is preferred but not required.

The next day, Paramount’s New Works and Marketing departments will start working together to edit a video reel that assembles the featured musical entries.

Then at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4, the first Connection series compilation video will drop on Paramount’s website, ParamountAurora.com, and on Paramount's Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages for free public viewing.

On Wednesday, April 1, Paramount will unveil the following week’s theme.

Similarly, submissions will be accepted until the following Wednesday, April 8, at midnight. The second Connection compilation video will be posted for free viewing at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

The series is currently slated to run for three weeks, through April 18, but may continue until stay-at-home orders are lifted. Each week’s Connection social media concert will run about 30 minutes.

Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to email Paramount’s New Works Department with their questions at newworks@paramountarts.com.

Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is a hub for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in the second largest city in Illinois. More than 41,000 subscribers from throughout the suburbs enjoy Broadway-quality productions at affordable prices. Since launching its Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount Theatre has grown to be the second largest subscription house in the nation.

For the latest news from Paramount Theatre and updates on upcoming performances, visit ParamountAurora.com.