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Stuck in the House with the Citadel Theatre

When Covid-19 hit in force and large gatherings were no longer safe for its audience, the Citadel Theatre had some tough decisions to make. The physical doors were closed and shows cancelled, but Citadel staff and artists aren’t ready to stop creating art that warms our hearts and puts smiles on our faces.

On March 20, quickly following the first closures, Daryl Cloran (Artistic Director) & Chantell Ghosh (Executive Director) announced the launch of the “Stuck at Home Series”, a scrappy YouTube release of performances by Citadel family artists. All of us stuck at home during the Covid crises can tune in each and every day to see what a performing artist’s life is like in isolation. It’s fresh, fun, and inspiring. Tune in and donate if you can.

For information and a list of performances visit: https://www.citadeltheatre.com/2019-2020/stuckinthehouse

We had the chance to speak with the ever-positive Chantell Ghosh about the crafty idea. Here’s what she had to say…

How did the “Stuck at home Series” idea come about?

I was watching the Jann Arden and Chris Martin mini-performances on social media for their fans in isolation and I thought – not only are we all stuck at home, so are our artists…and they can’t “work from home” – so as a way to provide them with a small work opportunity and a way to connect our audiences to the art that they are temporarily missing, we came up with the series.

What motivates you to launch an idea like this?

Essentially the Citadel exists to serve the community and create a place of performance.  In this time, we are serving our community by closing to help prevent the spread of this disease, but we can still create a place where our audience can connect with our artists – be moved, entertained, laugh… and also get a glimpse into how this is impacting theatre professionals who have had their livelihood taken away by this disease as well. We were also able to provide a modest fee to the artists through our partnership with the Edmonton Community Foundation which is so appreciated.

What can we expect to see in the online series of performances?

We have asked artists to share a glimpse of what their “Stuck In The House” life is like and to share some of the art we missed, some that they are working on, or just their talent in general.  We have already had musical performances, sketch comedy, a ski by shouting, dramatic readings, and many cameos by pets.  The dogs and cats are the stars so far really.

The impact has been very significant and has the potential to be devastating.

Chantell Ghosh, Executive Director

How has Covid-19 affected the Citadel?

The impact has been very significant and has the potential to be devastating. It resulted in the early close, cancellation or postponement of 6 productions/ performances this season. All of our classes and workshops have been canceled/postponed and our tenants in the building have all been impacted as well. We have laid off all but a skeleton crew and we are currently in limbo waiting for further direction from the Authorities about what the next 6 months look like.  We are hoping to have clarity in a month and be able to make some decisions.  We are working through a variety of plans to deal with the new reality that our patrons and community are all facing.

How can Edmontonians help?

Take all the safety precautions we are told to so this can be successful! Support the theatre, small businesses, and non-profits in any way you can.  We know there is so much uncertainty but let’s have faith in our ability to get through this and know that what we do to support our community now will make sure that these restaurants, small businesses and yes, the theatre and all performing arts come out the other side.  After all this time spent inside, with our kids…we are really going to need some great nights out!

Please support the theatre by buying a subscription for next year!

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