Enjoy Some ‘Little Bites’ of Theater in Central Park — Free and LIVE!

By Carol Tannenhauser

The show will go on — if not on the Great White Way then on the Mall in Central Park.

For the next three Saturdays, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy “perfect little bites” of live theater, performed by masked and socially distanced actors, along a stretch of the Central Park Mall (located mid park around 68th Street.)

Called the “Living Mural,” the production, which is free, features a number of actors, alone or paired, performing both classical monologues and new works commissioned just for the Living Mural. Pieces run between 60 and 90 seconds each, and passers-by are invited to stop and watch one piece or many. They will run continuously between 1 and 4 pm.

“With theaters shut down across the city, this is about ways in which the performing arts are able to continue, live and in person (and not on Zoom!),” Anna Strasser, director of the “Living Mural” emailed WSR. “Tons of people just stop, listen and chat with us about how much they miss theater. It has brought huge smiles to people’s faces, and it has been a great way for theater folks to get a chance to do what we love.”

Here is a statement from the creators of the Living Mural:

The Living Mural is a direct theatrical response to the Coronavirus crisis in the United States and specifically New York City. We seek to present theater safely and without formalities: our performance is short, raw, and responsive. At its heart the Living Mural supports the relationship between actor and audience sharing a (socially distanced) space together. We believe in the power of theater to support and creatively nurture communities. We miss making theater and we want to provide a safe environment to create live performance…

As New Yorkers, we are accustomed to a variety of interactions with strangers in our day-to-day lives. Suddenly those interactions are fraught. We are now thinking about how to keep ourselves safe: is that person wearing a mask, what does 6 feet away really look like, do I have enough hand sanitizer, why is it still impossible to buy Clorox wipes? At the Living Mural we strip away the anxieties related to social interaction. All of our actors and audiences wear masks, we are outside, and we stand 6 feet apart. All you have to do is show up and experience a minute-long piece of theater. Perhaps you want to stay and watch another or have a short conversation; perhaps you want to continue on your day.

Like a mural, we are responding to and commemorating a specific moment in time. This moment. The time for this work is now, when live, in-person performance is needed more than ever.

The Living Mural will run every Saturday through September 26th, from 1 to 4 pm. More info @Instagram.com/livingmural

ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 3 comments | permalink
    1. Tosha says:

      I can’t wait to go. VIVA NYC

    2. Kate says:

      That’s a tough one. I hope the actors won’t have to have masks on and can just be 10 ‘ from each other and park visitors

    3. SuzQ! says:

      I raced to catch the end of this yesterday – and am glad I did! I got samples of all kinds of things and all kinds of really friendly actors.
      Shakespear in sonnet, rants, lovely monologues.

      Go!

      And! Take a $20 – put it in one hat – they split it at the end – you don’t need all those ones.