A drag queen and a sock puppet were among the performers during the online gala fundraiser the Clocktower Players held on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 3. The hour-long event looked back at the theater company’s 43-year history and ahead to its fall season, which will unfold online. 

That season kicks off on Friday, Oct. 16 with “Concrete Jungle” — one of two winners of Clocktower’s first short play competition. The season continues on Friday, Oct. 30 with “Dracula,” the first installment of Clocktower’s new Jubilee Podcast Theater, which mimics radio plays of the past.

For more information, including a sample from “Dracula,” visit clocktowerplayers.com.

Clocktower’s online gala was a reminder about the current financial fragility of nonprofits, especially those that focus on arts and culture. It was also a reminder about efforts to adapt as the pandemic continues to keep theaters closed.

Before Covid-19, Clocktower held its fall gala at the Irvington Theater (IT), as well as productions by its youth and adult troupes every fall and spring. For the foreseeable future, the IT will remain shuttered.

Despite the absence of in-person audiences, the IT has also adapted. The theater’s fall season continues tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 9-10) with the All Shorts Irvington Film Festival, which will be streamed online for the first time. The festival features 13 films from directors in France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.

The theater’s season continues with online performances by Irvington’s Halloween Bands on Oct. 30, an event titled “Inspiring Inclusion in the Arts” on Nov. 2, a musical comedy extravaganza by Christina Bianco on Nov. 14, and a holiday celebration on Dec. 4.

For more information, visit irvingtontheater.com.

Like Clocktower, another arts and culture cornerstone of the Rivertowns reinvented in recent months. In response to the pandemic, the nonprofit RiverArts commissioned Hastings resident Melanie Hoopes to write “Six Feet — A Play About What’s Between Us.”

Hoopes wrote “Six Feet” for Zoom, the online meeting platform that has become a widespread channel for communication since the pandemic started. The live performance will be Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. For tickets, visit riverarts.org.

In August, another nonprofit, the Red Monkey Theater Group, led by Hastings resident Tal Aviezer, staged an in-person adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes short story outside the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx. The audience was limited in size and spaced out under a tent.

Despite considerable difficulties, the performing arts persist in the Rivertowns. For that to continue, the artists need audiences, even if they’re unable to hear the applause. 

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