East Bay theater

The Show Must Go On: East Bay theaters navigate the pandemic

Patrons mill around a buzzing lobby, holding drinks and cookies. They file into the darkened theater and settle into their seats. This used to be a familiar scene in the East Bay’s world-renowned theaters, but during the last six months, they sat empty. The pandemic put a halt to live theater, and the nationally recognized theater companies throughout the East Bay were forced to find new ways of connecting with their audiences through virtual shows, educational programs and more. The results are reinventing theater—and community—for the Covid-19 era. Although audiences cannot gather in physical spaces right now, especially small ones like intimate theaters, a sense of place is still central to the work of Oakland’s and Berkeley’s playwrights and actors. Several local theaters have created ...