Live, Socially Distanced Theater in Central Park

Live, socially-distanced theater is taking place in Central Park on Saturdays from 1-4pm through September.

The Living Mural is running a series of 60-90 second performances at the Mall, with no more than two actors on each “stage.”

Performances include both classical monologues and new works commissioned just for the Living Mural.

Audience members watch each performance and walk to the next one, preventing large crowds from gathering.

All actors and audience members are required to wear masks and stand six feet apart.

Living Mural Central Park

photo: Diana Levy

Live theater Central Park

photo: Anna Strasser

Living Mural Central Park NYC

photo: Diany Levy

With theaters shut down across the city, this is a great way to get safely reacquainted with the arts while enjoying some fresh September air.

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“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 is directed by Anna Strasser and produced by Diana Levy. Production design is by Susanne Houstle.

The Living Mural includes new works written by Niccolo Aeed, Charles Gershman, Amina Henry, Arika Larson, April Ranger, Jacob Marx Rice, Cherry Lou Sy, and Maiken Wiese.

The rotating cast of performers is: Samuel Adams, Vanessa Chia Chung, Benjamin Farha, Amina Henry, Ash Mayers, Joel Repman, Katie Repman, Matty Sangare, Kaila Saunders, and Kaitlyn Schirard.

Learn more about the Living Mural on their Instagram page.

As times have been tough for artists, the group behind the project has also launched a GoFundMe campaign. “As theater artists, our livelihoods have been devastated by the pandemic. Any amount you can contribute will go directly to helping us pay our bills while we make socially-distant art.” Here’s the campaign: gofundme.com/f/living-mural.

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