MIRAMAR BEACH — At Emerald Coast Theatre Co., when one curtain falls, another rises.
They are following CDC guidelines and have closed their physical doors at 560 Grand Blvd. in Miramar Beach because of the COVID-19 crisis. However, ECTC has remained engaged with its patrons and young thespians by offering innovative ways that the show can go on — online.
Emerald Coast Theatre Co. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 2012 by Nathanael Fisher and his wife, Anna Fisher, based in Miramar Beach. Its mission is to enrich and entertain the Emerald Coast community through professional and educational theater. ECTC operates year-round, offering educational outreach, touring and staged productions, summer camps, workshops and classes.
“Over the past two weeks, our children's classes of Disney's 101 Dalmatians, Disney's High School Musical 2, and the Film and Theatre Intensive have continued rehearsing and working on their skills all while safely social distancing at home,” said Nathanael Fisher, producing artistic director, in a news release.
The online classes were so successful, Fisher announced last week three new “dramatic” opportunities for theater lovers of all ages to get involved online:
VIRTUAL TALENT SHOW
From April 10-25, roll the video camera and record yourself or whoever you’re quarantined with to display what crazy, fun talent you have for a chance to win prizes. The Virtual Talent Show is free to enter and open to the public.
Talent Show categories include: Group/Family/Business; Sassy Seniors (65 and older); Pre-K to Grade 5; Grades 6-12; and Adult. Video submissions will be accepted through April 20.
Round 1 voting (by liking videos on YouTube) closes at noon on April 23. Round 2 will pit the top three finalists in each category, with voting closing at 7:30 p.m. April 25 for winners in each category and People’s Choice.
Round 3 will entail guest celebrity Adam Silorey hosting ECTC’s first-ever Facebook live Virtual Talent Show event at 7 p.m. April 25. A panel of judges will select Best Overall and Most Creative from the winning finalists, and the public choose the People’s Choice Award.
To enter the contest, email your photo and link to your YouTube video (two minutes or shorter) to email@example.com by April 20. Include your name, the title of the video and category you’re entering in the Subject Line. For details on contest criteria and instructions on how to upload a YouTube video, visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org.
Camp Shine at Home began April 14 and continues through May 1 for children in grades 3-12. The online camp culminates with a final performance at 4 p.m. May 1. Instructors include PJ Padgett (improv and actor coach, director for “The Show Must Go Online”), Peter Lake and Rebeca Lake (vocal/singing coaches), Laura Price (dance training).
Two Saturday special Master Class appearances include Nicolas Ward (of “The Lion King” on Broadway) on April 18, and film/television professional Matt McVay of Atlanta on April 25.
During 40-minute classes offered Tuesdays-Fridays at 1 p.m. (with Saturday bonus Master Classes at 11 a.m.), students get one-on-one actor coaching, vocal coaching, group dance training and improv skill building throughout the week.
Each day is a unique experience that culminates in the hilarious new musical “The Show Must Go Online!” Live group classes will be recorded for those who can’t sign on at the given time and one-on-one sessions will be scheduled individually.
Each actor (singer or non-singer) will receive a one-minute monologue or song to rehearse, video record and upload remotely. When all the videos are played in order, they will tell the story of a group of passionate students desperate to keep their musical alive. The show is called “Brushes with Greatness: The Dental Hygiene Musical.”
The final performance will go live at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 30.
“One amazing aspect of the final online performance is that our students’ family and friends can go online to watch their show live or watch the recording later,” said Fisher.
Participating students will need internet access, ability to log into Zoom Video Conferencing, and a way to video record themselves. The one-time non-refundable registration fee is $25.
Tuition for Camp Shine at Home is $95 per student, and tuition for Camp The Show Must Go On is $60 per student (both of which are 50 percent savings off regular rates). Scholarships are available (apply online at EmeraldCoastTheatre.org).
ECTC’s production of “Treasure Island” slated for May 14-17 was canceled to make room in the schedule for the Educational Program Shows. Tentatively, all ECTC educational classes will resume the week of May 5 and the new performance schedule will be:
Florida Chautauqua Theatre: “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians,” May 8, 7 p.m.; “Disney’s High School Musical 2,” May 9, 7 p.m.
ECTC at Grand Boulevard: “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians” for grade 3-5, May 15 and 16, 7 p.m.; for grades 2-3/Little Rascals, May 16, 2 p.m.; and “Disney’s High School Musical 2,” May 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and May 30 at 2 p.m.
“Our teaching artists are working with students on a regular basis,” Fisher said.
For more information on Emerald Coast Theatre Co., call Nathanael Fisher at 850-684-0323 or visit EmeraldCoastTheatre.org.