North Bay theatre company announces pandemic-themed play festival

With the return of live theatrical performances no where in sight, many companies have resorted to Zoom technology to live stream shows while others have found themselves turning their theatres into video production facilities. Napa’s Lucky Penny Productions is the latest to invest in a multi-camera system and has announced a new theatre festival to utilize it.

“Our goal is to keep producing performing arts in new ways to ride out the pandemic”, said Lucky Penny Managing Director Barry Martin, “and it’s never a bad idea to challenge yourself to learn new things.” “Creative people are like the shark that has to keep moving forward to live,” added Martin. “If we don’t tell stories, who are we?”

Their “Play-demic” Festival is designed to be a collection of stories for the stage about how life has been affected since the pandemic began, how life proceeds in the midst of it, and what happens next. Submissions of original material that relate to that theme are welcome from writers residing in the nine Bay Area counties.  

Here are more specific criteria for the Festival:

  • Technical simplicity is essential
  • No physical contact between actors in the storytelling
  • Length as performed 5 – 15 minutes. 
  • Three characters maximum, with monologues and duologues encouraged 
  • No situations with people on Zoom calls
  • All submissions must be by email in PDF format to
  • Entries accepted through September 25, 2020.

The plays selected will be rehearsed in a Covid-safe manner and performed in their theatre for an audience of cameras. That will yield a recording that will be edited and presented in an on-demand fashion as part of the Lucky Penny Video Theatre project over the weekend of October 23 – 25, 2020. The authors of plays chosen for production will be provided a digital copy of the performed version as thanks.   

“We feel a sort of responsibility to our audience,” concluded Martin. “They have been very understanding of all the changes we have had to make and continue to support and encourage us. And since they have shown us they are adapting to remote viewing, we can fulfill our goals of entertaining and informing and staying connected by using new methods.”

For more information on the Festival, go to

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