Curbside Theater is now available for 2-3 day residencies in locations other than our base in Salt Lake City.
Residencies engage your community with:
• Professional artists and production values
• Social-distance friendly outdoor venues
• Accessible dance and song for all audiences
• Cost-effective price (no theater or even power supply needed, audience provides their own seating)
• Great for smaller communities and towns
• An identity that defines your unique community (the outdoor location is distinctly yours– this is called placemaking, a distinguishing characteristic of Curbside)
Usually 2-3 days long, residencies consist of any combination of 30-min “block party” performances or evenings of 8-10 min “delivery” performances. Block parties are appropriate for larger groups (generally up to 50 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 block party on Friday night and deliveries on Saturday. Alternatively, it could be a block party on two different nights in nearby locations or towns.
The main limitations are temperature and light. 60F and above allows the performers and audience to stay comfortable. Stage lighting is a crucial element so we start at dusk. In most places, it’s warmer when the days are longer, and that means that dusk is late in the day. Mid-June in Salt Lake, we started at 9:15pm. 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, but not all audiences are.
Major cost factors are travel and accommodations. We’re set up to drive to most places in the Intermountain West. (Airline travel and equipment shipping are also possible.) Though requiring best practices about Covid safety, we are flexible about accommodations and enjoy getting to know the communities we serve. Not including travel and lodging, the cost of a Curbside residency is $2,500-$4,500 for two nights, depending on the number of performers. Because Curbside Theater is presented by a professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts group, many hosts underwrite the expense with local grants and donations.
— Why are block parties only 30 minutes? The beautiful and unusual thing 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 framework. Just read the user reviews!
— Will you perform indoors? Indoor locations must our standards for separation between the stage and the audience, air circulation or filtering, social-distancing, and mask-wearing. Most indoor sites also require use of a special stage platform. 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 the format and innovation. Curbside exemplifies the kind of creative thinking that inspires all young artists, in any discipline.
— What’s the ideal location for a block party? The best scenario is a natural amphitheater– good acoustics or at least quiet and away from traffic, scenic landscape behind the stage, and a slight uphill slope where the audience is located. Neighborhood cul-de-sacs also work well. It’s best to have toilets available.
— 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.
— How about socializing? Most hosts organize some kind of socializing– nibbles, drinks– and cap it off with a Curbside performance. Watch the sunset sky. Sit on a folding chair or blanket. Then a mesmerizing 30 min show or shorter delivery.
— 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. Please don’t make a reservation for a children’s party.
— What’s your advice about delivery location? We need enough curbside to easily park a car 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.