Curbside Theater is now available on tour beyond our base in the Wasatch Front. To lower costs, we try to do at least two nights worth of activities, or a residency, either in the same community or several nearby communities.
Residencies engage your community with:
• Professional artists and production values
• Social-distance friendly outdoor locations
• Accessible dance and song
• Cost-effective price (no theater or even power supply needed)
• A sense of your community as an unique place- sometimes called “placemaking“
Usually over 2 days, our visit can consist of: 1) a 30-40 min performance; 2) evenings of 8-10 min “delivery” performances; or 3) a combination of these formats. Longer formats are appropriate for larger groups (generally 30-75 people but it depends on the location). Deliveries are excellent for smaller numbers of viewers, and especially vulnerable populations. A typical residency might consist of a longer show on Friday night and deliveries on Saturday to multiple nearby stops. Alternatively, two communities could coordinate so a longer can take place in one on Friday and another on Saturday. Or, if you have enough demand, we can do a few nights in the same location.
The main limitations are temperature and light. 60F and above permits the performers and audience to stay comfortable. Because stage lighting is a crucial element, we start at dusk. Mid-June in Salt Lake, we started at 9:15pm dusk. By the second week of October, shows began at 7:15pm. The start time and how late audiences stay up determines the number of performances we can present. We’re game for late shows, especially on hot summer nights.
Major cost factors are artist fees, travel, and accommodations. We’ll drive to most places within seven hours of Salt Lake. Other factors are site, schedule, and number of performers. In certain locations, this cost can be underwritten by grants we’ve received for this purpose. We encourage hosts to look at sponsors, supporters, and grants for their locale.
— What infrastructure do you require? None. Our professional production is completely self-sufficient and powered by batteries. Read below for more info about locations.
— What is SB Dance? Founded in 1996, SB Dance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and resident of Salt Lake County’s Rose Wagner Center. It is a professional group that works mainly with dance but also other mediums. Learn more here.
— Why are performances only 30 minutes? The beautiful and unusual quality about Curbside is that it takes place under open skies in your community’s unique landscape. That’s not a controlled environment like a theater or auditorium. We’ve found that 30 minutes works best in that situation. Just read the user reviews!
— Do you have examples? Please check out the Curbside Theater playlist at our new YouTube channel.
— Will you perform indoors? As long as Covid remains a public health hazard, indoor locations must meet our standards for separation between the stage and the audience, air circulation or filtering, social-distancing, and mask-wearing. However, covered pavilions are generally similar to outdoor performances.
— What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate? We do our best to make it happen but can’t dance on a wet stage or in freezing temperatures. So we monitor the weather and make a decision together with the host.
— Does this work for educational settings? Totally. Best for high school and up. We performed for the University of Utah Dept of Dance’s grad students who were deeply curious about the format and innovation. Curbside exemplifies the kind of creative thinking that inspires all young artists, in any discipline.
— Will you teach classes too? We offer yoga classes, movement-based creativity workshops, and, if conditions allow, dance. Contact us for inquiries.
— What’s the ideal location? Your community probably has a pavilion or park where events often happen. It’s convenient because it’s probably centrally located with parking, bathrooms, and power. But you don’t have to use it because Curbside requires no power and is shorter than most events. Consider places where you’d want to take a photo. Ideally, it is a natural amphitheater-type space with good acoustics, or at least quiet and away from traffic. Choose a scenic landscape behind the stage for terrific images (photos are encouraged). A slight uphill slope where the audience sits makes viewing easy. Neighborhood cul-de-sacs also work well. It’s best to have toilets available for viewers.
— What’s the best starting time? Stage lighting really elevates the experience so it has to be dark enough that the lights work. We usually start at dusk so the sky changes during the performance. Afterward, we shine our lights toward the audience so they can find their way out in the dark.
— Is photography allowed? Absolutely. Please credit SB Dance or tag with #curbsidetheater
— Is this safe during the Covid crisis? It’s an outdoor performance with plenty of space, we stay far away from you, and masks are required if ample social distancing is not possible. It is generally considered low-risk.
— How about socializing? Most hosts organize some kind of socializing– from a full event to nibbles and drinks– and cap it off with a Curbside performance. Watch the dusk sky. Sit on a folding chair or blanket. Then a mesmerizing 30 min show or shorter delivery. Social gatherings must adhere to state and local mandates about Covid safety.
— Is this okay for kids? Sure. You might think of it like going to a nice restaurant: some kids enjoy almost anything and some will only order off the children’s menu. But please don’t make a reservation for a children’s party or a kids-only event.
— What’s your advice about delivery location? We need enough curbside to quickly park a truck and trailer. It needs to be fairly level. We need 10′ between viewers and the stage. There should also be enough room for your group to social distance if they’re not in the same bubble.