Local singers and dancers perform original works about the passage of time, all created within the last week while the artists have been sheltering in place, as part of Paramount Theatre’s latest "Connection Social Media Concert."
The series lets people tune in Saturday nights to Paramount’s Facebook, Instagram or YouTube page, or ParamountAurora.com, to enjoy a free, dynamic compilation of new songs and dance works about how time seems to fly, stand still, or barely exist as we all continue to stay in quarantine, a news release stated.
Each piece was crowd-sourced by Paramount Theatre’s New Works Department via an open submission process. Together, they combine for an entertaining virtual event focused on a topic we’re all familiar with, watching our clocks and calendars as we stay at home.
Paramount’s "Connection" series is designed to help artists and audiences stay connected while everyone is asked to shelter in place. The theme changes every week to encourage emerging and veteran performing artists to use this unprecedented time to create new work and keep Paramount’s patrons entertained in an innovative new way.
“Friendship” is the next theme; the deadline to submit is April 29. Every week, Paramount’s New Works Department announces the following week’s "Connection" theme and submission guidelines. More than a month since the stay-at-home and social distancing orders were put in place, Paramount announced April 23 that it is seeking original songs, dance works and poems about friendship.
Thought-starters for anyone who wants to submit include focusing on how artists have been staying connected with their friends while under quarantine. Performers also are encouraged to create new works with their friends – socially distanced and virtually.
To submit, fill out the form at https://bit.ly/2Xcjdnh by midnight April 29. The resulting concert dedicated to the unifying theme of friendship will debut at 8 p.m. May 2 across Paramount’s social channels and website.
Some submission hints: All ages and experience levels are welcome. If filming with a cell phone, horizontal orientation is preferred but not required. If you are a writer and not a performer, Paramount will connect you with singers who have volunteered to perform your material and record it. For any other questions about the submissions process, email email@example.com.
From serious to silly, "Connection" concerts are becoming the time and place for performing arts lovers to gather online every Saturday night to enjoy an evening of new works by talented local artists, the release stated. The first two virtual concerts celebrated the artists’ relationships to their schools, followed by a night of new works about the performers’ personal connections to their homes. Last week’s concert on April 18 attracted more than 4,600 viewers on Facebook alone, who were treated to a poignant series of original songs honoring essential workers and health care providers.
Throughout the series, performers have ranged from children, teenagers, emerging performers, professional actors and A-list Chicago musical theater artists who have appeared on stage at Paramount in Broadway series productions, each performing on video original works from their own homes.
Additionally, in weeks with an abundance of great submissions, Paramount has started posting “encore” performances on its Facebook page in the days following to showcase additional talented local artists while keeping the Saturday night concert itself to 30 minutes.
“Since we have all been advised to socially distance ourselves, it’s become clear that we need to find new ways to stay in touch now more than ever,” Amber Mak, New Works Development director for Paramount Theatre, stated in the release. “While we may not be able to bring you live theater right now, Paramount plans to continue our 'Connection' series to keep people connected until we can all see each other again at the theater.”
For the latest news from Paramount Theatre and updates on upcoming performances, visit ParamountAurora.com.