Alliance of Desert Theatres forges allies during the pandemic
With new state reopening guidance, members of the Alliance of Desert Theatres (AODT) are committed to restarting the arts, which will help our communities recover, reflect and rebuild. Most companies are planning full seasons starting this fall. Several are also offering live performances this summer, in-person summer youth programs and other workshops.
AODT is a cooperative of producing theatre companies and live entertainment organizations in the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin that network and take action in order to advocate for and nurture a vibrant performing arts community.
Performing arts venues have been closed for 15 months. During the pandemic shutdown, representatives of local theatres came together on a Zoom call. That virtual meeting resulted in the formation of AODT, a grassroots organization with six founding member organizations. Now with 16 nonprofits represented, including dance and musical companies, AODT is enthusiastically supporting the reopening of performing arts in the area.
What started in May 2020 as somewhat of a support group for these organizations, became a strong advocating alliance. Initial discussions included PPE, fundraising, and streaming options, but later shifted to joint letters to elected officials and the Governor’s office requesting safe operating guidance. AODT representatives believe they played a significant role in establishing reopening standards. Now, these arts organizations are excited to welcome patrons back to live performances.
With local performing arts groups located in six different cities and with auditoriums ranging in seating capacity from 80-400, individual theatres may have hyper-local and/or specific Actors’ Equity ssociation regulations to comply with that may vary from venue to venue. However, all AODT organizations are committed to adhering to CDC guidance that helps maintain the health and safety of their patrons, ctors, crew, staff and volunteers. As local stages reopen, it will take genuine community support in the form of ticket sales, donations and volunteers to reinvigorate these nonprofits.
The Alliance of Desert Theatres currently includes representatives from the following performing arts groups: California Desert Chorale, Children’s Playtime Productions, Coachella Valley Repertory (CVRep), Coachella Valley Symphony, Desert Ensemble Theatre, Desert Theatreworks, Dezart Performs, Green Room Theatre Company, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, North Star Theatre, Palm Canyon Theatre, PS Concerts, Palm Springs Dance Project, Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, Palm Springs International Dance Festival and Theatre 29. And, we welcome any others.