Save the Breakthrough Telethon

Save the Breakthrough Telethon

Save the Breakthrough Telethon

Breakthrough Theater

Theater doesn’t really work well with social distancing, but some day we will return to our favorite performance spaces and see live actors doing interesting things on a stage. Meanwhile, they have rent and electricity and cold cream bills to cover, and money is short enough in good theater times. Wade Hair grabbed the problem by the horns and called up his enormous cast of regulars to give us a day of electronically transmitted entertainment. The list of people performing goes on like the list of animators in the latest superhero movie, and I won’t even try to list them. I dropped in and out over the 12-hour run of the Telethon and caught a few favorites like Sara Lee Dobbs and Vicki Burns and Brianna Betancourt and maybe one hundred others. Financially, the project brought in several thousand dollars, and I’m sure we’ll see more of this sort of event going forward. Technically, things were bumpy, and that’s endemic to all the online shows I’ve seen lately. My internet can be slow, and freeze ups and stutters are frustrating. Some acts had decent audio and video, other seemed to be performing on their cell phones. One artist chose to sing in their cars. Bonus points for isolation but points off for weird audio interference. Laptop cameras were also popular, but they give us a cat’s eye view of the action. I like to think of the effect as “Booger Cam” But what works best here is the sense of community Breakthrough brings to Orlando. I look forward to a return to normalcy, sitting in the red velvet seat and eating cookie from Annie’s oven.

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