Metro Theater Company (MTC), St. Louis’s premiere professional theater for youth and families, has launched a two-play summer digital streaming series, including the 2019 world premiere of The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus by Eric Coble (available May 27 – June 28) and the critically acclaimed 2016 production of And In This Corner… Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin (available June 23 – July 26).
Both productions, which were directed by MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood, will be available in a pay-what-you-can pay-per-view environment at metroplays.org, expanding the company’s artistic footprint into the living rooms of families in St. Louis and across the world as the St. Louis community adjusts to changes in public gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus this summer. The streaming performances are presented in partnership with HEC Media, whose video production team captured and edited both productions.
Prior to this summer streaming series, both productions were part of a virtual international festival and conference hosted earlier in May by TYA-USA, the national service organization for theaters for youth and families, attended by over 1,200 theater and education professionals.
Summer Streaming Productions
The Girl Who Swallowed a CactusMay 27 – June 28, 2020Streaming at metroplays.org/watchnowThe Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus originally toured to schools across the St. Louis region in September, October, and November 2019. During that school tour, it also received several public performances, in partnership with the Missouri History Museum, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Central Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, and Urban Chestnut’s Oktoberfest. The pay-per-view performance being streamed was captured at the Missouri History Museum. The one-person play is an imaginative tour de force for actress Jamie McKittrick as she shares the story of a group of friends who go on a wild adventure in the American Southwest after a well-dressed talking coyote steals an orange traffic cone from their junkyard summer fortress.
And In This Corner…Cassius ClayJune 23 – 26, 2020 Streaming at metroplays.org/watchnowAnd In This Corner…Cassius Clay tells the story of the young man who would become Muhammad Ali and his relationship with a white police officer who introduced him to boxing in Jim Crow-era Louisville. The play was a hit of the 2015-16 theater season and generated numerous accolades for Metro Theater Company, including the Network for Strong Communities’ prestigious Paulie Award for creating positive change through collaborative nonprofit partnerships. Led by Trigney Morgan as Cassius Clay between the ages of 11 and 20, the play was celebrated by the St. Louis American for its “authentic chemistry among the cast” and its potential to encourage audiences “to channel their inner champion and fight for what’s right.” The streaming production was filmed during the play’s original February 2016 run at the Missouri History Museum.
Additional Virtual Offerings
Virtual Summer CampsJune 8–26, July 6–10, July 27–August 7, 2020 Available at metroplays.org/summer-campsIn response to COVID-19, Metro Theater Company has shifted its popular summer camps to run as virtual camps this year. Virtual camps begin with three weeks of middle school camp (June 8 – 26), each exploring a different theme, from Reality TV to a murder mystery whodunnit to characters from literature. High school camp is offered July 6-10, and two one-week camps for Pre K through Grade 5 are offered July 27 – August 7. All camps include a combination of drama, dance, music, and creative discovery, including audition technique, stage combat, stage make up, and playwriting for older campers. Camps start at $100 per week for half-day Pre-K and Kindergarten students. Registration and detailed pricing is available at www.metroplays.org/summer-camps.
COVID-19 Memory ProjectOngoingOnline at metroplays.org/memoryproject Metro Theater Company also continues its COVID-19 Memory Project, sourcing stories from the St. Louis community throughout the pandemic. Stories and experiences shared with MTC are being adapted into virtual theatrical performances. The first short performance of material from the COVID-19 Memory Project will be included in the May 31 Arts United STL benefit for the Regional Arts Commission. The first of several short “Zoom Plays” will follow, beginning in early July.
About Metro Theater Company: Since 1973, Metro Theater Company has been creating productions that respect young people’s intelligence, tell compelling stories, stimulate curiosity and provoke thoughtful reflection. The Company has reached a total audience of more than two million and has a national reputation for excellence in the field of professional theater for young audiences. Metro Theater Company has received major honors and awards, both locally and nationally. The company is led by Artistic Director Julia Flood and Managing Director Joe Gfaller. For more information, visit http://metroplays.org.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.