Blyth Festival looking at ideas for next season

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The Artistic Director of the Blyth Festival say they’re still looking forward to some kind of season next summer. But Gil Garratt says, at this point, they’re not sure what that might look like.

Garratt says they’ve had conversations about safely distancing members of the audience and problems using washrooms or elevators to get to the washrooms.

“So we’re also still very much trying to figure out what does it mean to bring actors together in a room. When we built the rehearsal hall in Blyth, that rehearsal hall, the windows don’t open and it was done, you know, for efficiency with the air conditioning at the time.”

But under the current circumstances, fresh air is just as important as cool air. He also notes that actors, unlike some other people, can’t really work from home.

Garratt points out another challenge for them is prep time. He says there are a few plays they could put together in an afternoon because they’ve got the show, they’ve got the music and everything’s already ready to go.

“But if we were going to put on a Blyth Festival show, typically, we would need at least six weeks to start. And that’s assuming I can find the actors and find the people to be in it and find the painters and carpenters and costume people.”

Garratt says one of the things they pride themselves on is that Blyth Festival plays are about the Huron County community and all of the sets are built on site. And housing is another challenge. First finding housing for the actors and crew members that have to be brought in and then, is it a good idea to bring people in from other communities in the middle of a pandemic. He says they’re still looking at options for all of those issues.


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