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COVID-19 Update, April 2, 2020: Unemployment and Odd Signs of Hope

Sobering news. More than six million people applied for unemployment last week: tinyurl.com/uusxmnp.

Although, oddly, jobless claims dropped in Nevada: tinyurl.com/w9gv2gk.

Not to panic you, but: Andrew Cuomo says New York has enough ventilators for six days: tinyurl.com/qw2v9bf.

On a brighter note, the evidence shows that social distancing works: tinyurl.com/rf83azd.

Sign of the Times: The Democratic National Convention has been postponed: tinyurl.com/tx6ka9k.

The Holland America Zandaam, which has roamed the oceans, has is finally being allowed to dock: tinyurl.com/wceagcu.

Meaningful action -- like building a hospital in a week -- lifts our spirits. The ExCel Center, formed home of the PLASA Show, is the venue: tinyurl.com/rodfacp.

Live Nation announces a $10 million fund to support concert crews: tinyurl.com/v2jfmlg.

And here's an Off Broadway company that isn't taking the crisis lying down: tinyurl.com/qrnjy4q.

In Hollywood, Asian-American artists fight against COVID-19-related prejudice: tinyurl.com/v495u2d.

In a refreshing move, the UK government has called for businesses to support the fight against the pandemic: tinyurl.com/qo82f7c.

More losses: Adam Schlesinger, founder of the band Fountain of Waynes, co-songwriter for the Broadway musical Cry-Baby, and contributor of songs to the TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, is dead at 52: tinyurl.com/rzq48ud. Jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, Sr., dies at 85: tinyurl.com/vqjjmgp.

Japan's entertainment and technology giant Sony has unveiled a $100 million fund to support people around the world: tinyurl.com/v99dj76.

Dolly Parton pledges $1 million for coronavirus vaccine research: tinyurl.com/r34g39x.

Brad Paisley, Amy Grant, Jewel, and others launch Gratitunes, a consumer-generated music platform to celebrate and thank members of the VUMC family through the power of music during the COVID-19 pandemic: tinyurl.com/t72lno.

A slew of Broadway stars are donating their fees from Cameo, an app used to request and receive personalized videos from celebrities and artists, to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to help raise money for COVID-19 relief: tinyurl.com/r8v83qn.

Hope is the thing in Vegas: Hotels on the Strip send a light-up message: tinyurl.com/qogopfs.

Hone your skills in your downtime:

The ARRI Academy is pleased to announce the launch of a new course designed for all levels of lighting and video production professionals. "Lighting Systems Control with Richard Cadena" is an 11-part video course that serves as the ultimate guide to get you up and running with digital lighting control, using DMX, RDM, Wireless DMX, and Ethernet-based networks: tinyurl.com/vslo7ey.

Blackmagic Design will hold a live stream on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM PDT to provide new developments in its live production and cameras. Held by CEO and cofounder Grant Petty, the stream will be available from Blackmagic Design's website, as well as on the company's YouTube and Facebook pages: www.blackmagicdesign.com.

Learning and career development continue to move forward at the ChamSys Training Academy. The lighting console maker has been actively expanding its online education resources with new courses, tutorials, and appointment opportunities being added on a continuous basis. In addition to providing programmers with the chance to sharpen their skills (and develop new ones), the academy is serving as a platform for them to remain connected to the industry in the wake of the closings and cancelations that have taken place. Open to anyone, the academy offers daily online webinar training sessions. Conducted by active lighting designers and programmers, like Philip Watson, Brett Lorins, and Charles Courser, these sessions cover a range of basic, intermediate and advanced topics. For more information visit the "Training" section of the ChamSys website: tinyurl.com/t4plswj.

Companies take action:

Adam Hall, offering the inspirational message. "We will get through this together," has made available for streaming its online seminar about the industry's response to the current crisis. Taking part are luminaires from Adam Hall, NAMM, Claypaky, Powersoft, and other companies and organizations: tinyurl.com/v2amoy4.

Earl Girls reports that emergency temporary hospital support equipment is available. These include temporary structures, power distribution, communications, lighting, emergency lighting, labor, project management, public address systems, etc. The company reports. "Although operating with limited personnel EGI is remaining open and responsive to our customer's needs and are continuing to operate with video walls, lighting, staging, rigging, and special effects in sales, rentals, and installations." Email don@egipro.com.

PRG is leveraging its know-how to help patients and health workers in Berlin and New York by crafting face shields and building a temporary hospital. "We are responding to the rapidly changing needs of our customers during this emergency, and, with projects like these taking shape around the globe, we are actively at work in the fight against the coronavirus. PRG has resources with direct applicability to this important cause, and we take great pride in playing a role," said Jere Harris, PRG chairman and CEO.

Send in the Gowns: Music Theatre International has partnered with the American Senior Housing Association and Juniper Communities, leaders in seniors housing is launching an initiative to inspire the public to help make or gather Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and donate it to a local senior living community: tinyurl.com/u98gxeh.

Companies continue to report in:

From PR Lighting: "Chinese industry is now back to work following the Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis and Guangzhou-based PR Lighting marked the start of a new month by putting out a statement reassuring their global reseller and customer base that it is once again business as usual. China was the first country to register the outbreak of the coronavirus (on December 31, 2019) and while production remained temporarily idle throughout the country during lockdown, PR Lighting used the first quarter of the new year not only to fine-tune new products already under development but to make some strategic changes to their global sales infrastructure. PR Lighting is back running 100% as normal," confirmed company president Dave Liang. "Our technical and marketing departments are fully operational, and production and shipment are back on schedule. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times." www.pr-lighting.com.

Cancellations and postponements:

The Chita Rivera Awards are postponed until later in the year.

The New York cabaret Feinsteins/54 Below will remain closed until May 12.

The previously postponed LightFair has been cancelled: "The next LightFair will be in May 2021 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York during NYCxDESIGN - New York Design Week. LightFair returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center in June 2022."

Lyric Opera of Chicago postpones the remainder of the season: "This includes the musical 42nd Street, the new chamber opera Blue, Family Day at the Lyric Opera House, and all backstage tours, in order to heed social distancing recommendations and continue to support the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois in controlling the spread of COVID-19. This announcement signals the end of public performances and activities through June 30, 2020 -- the end of Lyric's current fiscal year."

New entertainment opportunities:

Bleeding Love is a new musical presented by the Broadway Podcast Network, with a starry cast of Broadway veterans, including Annie Golden, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Marc Kudisch, Sarah Stiles, Taylor Trensch, and Tony Vincent. It is available on Apple/iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart, TuneIn, Deezer, Player.FM, Pocket Cast, Podcast Addict and elsewhere. tinyurl.com/vl23muh.

Boston Symphony Orchestra is offering a series of online videos featuring interviews, archival audio, and behind-the-scenes videos: www.bso.org/athome.

Since we're all conferencing these days, you might be interested in a white paper titled "How Dante AV-over-IP Delivers Better Quality, Centrally Managed Conferencing:" tinyurl.com/uo2786h.

Florida Grand Opera will present musical offerings at www.FGO.org.

The Goodman Theatre's production of Mean Girls; Or The African School Girls' Play, can be streamed at; www.GoodmanTheatre.org/StreamSchoolGirls.

Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse will present a "screened" reading of Eugene O'Neill's 1918 one-act, THE ROPE, via live stream video on Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8:00pm, EST. Available by Zoom, YouTube, and most web browsers, viewers will find instructions at: tinyurl.com/sn7ksjy.

Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company announce PLAY AT HOME, a series of micro-commissioned short plays. The first of the commissioned plays will be available beginning Friday, March 2, for the public to download, read and perform at home for free at www.playathome.org. The program includes works by Jacklyn Backhaus, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Aleshea Harris, Michael R. Jackson, Hansol Jung, MJ Kaufman, Mike Lew, Ethan Lipton, Mona Mansour, Diana Oh, Lloyd Suh, Regina Taylor, and Lauren Yee.

Streaming Musicals (www.streamingmusicals.com/#!?) is pleased to announce a special free live streaming event: on Friday, April 10, the site will host a "virtual opening night" for the debut of Pride and Prejudice, in a new musical adaptation by Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon (Broadway's Jane Eyre). Gordon is also represented on Streaming Musicals with his popular musical adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma.

More of The 24-Hour Monologues are available online. This week's lineup includes Derrick Baskin, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ato Blankson-Wood, Hugh Dancy, Lora Lee Gayer, Francis Jue, T.R. Knight, Elizabeth Marvel, Sienna Miller, Debra Monk, Tamara Tunie, Alison Wright, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, Lydia Diamond, David Lindsay-Abaire, Donald Margulies, Max Posner, Howard Sherman, and Zhu Yi. Catch them at tinyurl.com/rbomnkv or IGTV @24hourplays.

To receive your LSA copies at home (no charge), please email LSA@plasa.org or go to www.ezsubscription.com/lsa/mysubscription.

(2 April 2020)

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