VCA’s staff and a few board members, with executive director Allison Halstead Reid front and center, spread out to fill the stage of the arts center’s Katherine L White Hall, in anticipation of re-opening the space to live audiences in late March (Tom Hughes Photo).

VCA’s staff and a few board members, with executive director Allison Halstead Reid front and center, spread out to fill the stage of the arts center’s Katherine L White Hall, in anticipation of re-opening the space to live audiences in late March (Tom Hughes Photo).

After a Year of Darkened Stage at VCA, Audience Can Now Return

Plans for several in-person events and performances are at last now taking shape.

More than a year after Vashon Center for the Arts last welcomed an audience into its Katherine L White Hall, plans for several in-person events and performances, starting in late March, are at last now taking shape.

The first of these events will be an art history lecture by Rebecca Albiani, about American artists in Rome in the late 1880s, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 24. Albiani has presented a popular series of lectures at VCA for the past few years, including online events in 2020. This will be the first time in more than a year that she has been able to speak directly to a live audience at VCA.

Coming up in April will be performances by island singer and songwriter Danny Newcomb, and a return to VCA for acclaimed pianist Vyacheslav “Slava” Gryaznov. In May, the Seattle-based contemporary dance company, Whim W’Him, founded by Olivier Wevers, will take the stage at VCA.

Most of these events will also be live-streamed, at vashoncenterforthearts.com and VCA’s Facebook page, for islanders to enjoy at home.

For the arts center, it’s the beginning of a cautious rollout of live events made possible by strong vaccine participation on Vashon, declining virus counts, and Jay Inslee’s reopening plan — which now allows live performance at venues with seating at 50 percent capacity.

Still, said VCA Executive Director Allison Halstead Reid, VCA will limit seating below that amount, due to the configuration of its hall. The most VCA will be able to seat at these performances is just over 100 — about 30% of the hall’s capacity, she said. For Albiani’s lecture, seating will be limited to less than 25% capacity.

“Vashon Center for the Arts has never waited this long for a show to arrive,” said Reid. “A year without live performance has been heartbreaking to endure but the wait was worth it — the health and safety of our community must always come first.”

She emphasized that VCA will be slow and cautious in welcoming audiences back

“We know not everything will be in-person. Concerts are different from lectures. Solo acts are easier than a full cast – and each has different requirements,” she said. “But we’re incredibly hopeful that we are moving in the right direction.”

The arts center will have strict safety protocols in place for attendees of live shows, including the requirement that tickets be purchased 48 hours in advance. Social distancing between family groups or pods is also required, as are masks for all audience members. All protocols for attendance are listed at vashoncenterforthearts.org/kay-hall-events.

“An Evening of Cabaret with Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse and Friends” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at VCA. The event is a fundraiser for Pacific NW Cabaret Association’s March is Cabaret Month Festival. At press time, it was not decided whether this performance will take place in-person, but regardless of that decision, it will be live-streamed at vashoncenterforthearts.org, as originally planned (John de Groen Photo).

“An Evening of Cabaret with Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse and Friends” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at VCA. The event is a fundraiser for Pacific NW Cabaret Association’s March is Cabaret Month Festival. At press time, it was not decided whether this performance will take place in-person, but regardless of that decision, it will be live-streamed at vashoncenterforthearts.org, as originally planned (John de Groen Photo).

Also, starting next Monday in accordance with Inslee’s move to Phase 3, local restaurants and Vashon Theatre will be able to extend seating to 50% of indoor capacity. The bump in capacity extends to virtually all indoor spaces where activities are currently allowed, including gyms and fitness centers.

The move to Phase 3 will also allow in-person spectators at professional sporting events for the first time in a year, with seating for spectators capped at 25% of capacity. Social distancing and facial coverings are still required.

Here’s more about what’s happening at VCA later this month.

Art History Talk explores artists in Rome

VCA’s first live event, an art history talk by lecturer Rebecca Albiani, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 24. Abliani’s talk, “White, Marmorean Flock: American Neoclassical Sculptresses in Rome,” will center on the lives and work of several women artists who lived and worked in Rome in the mid-1800s.

In her talk, Albiani will take audiences back to that time, discussing how Harriet Hosmer, Edmonia Lewis, Emma Stebbins and others were drawn to Italy by the abundant marble, inspiring classical heritage and a surprising lack of societal prejudice.

Albiani is a scholar of Italian and Art History; she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship for research in Venice and received a graduate lecturing scholarship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. For the last 15 years or so, she has given the monthly Art History Lecture Series at the Frye Art Museum, where her topics have ranged from ancient Egypt to Pop Art.

In-person tickets, which will go on sale on March 17, cost $10 per person; a $10 donation is suggested for the live-stream of the show. Resilience Pass tickets can also be obtained by contacted Ronly Blau at ronlyb@vashoncenterforthearts.org or calling 206-259-3007.

Arnaldo! brings cabaret to VCA

A live-streamed event, “An Evening of Cabaret with Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse & Friends,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at vashoncenterforthearts.org or on VCA’s Facebook page. At press time, it was undecided if the event would also be presented for in-person audiences that night.

Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse has performed his cabaret act as a classic cabaret chanteuse nationally and internationally. The act has been honored with a New York Bistro award, a Gawad Musika award for Most Innovative Concert Artist in Manila and a Bayanihan Award from the Filipino Community of Seattle.

At the performance, Arnaldo will be joined onstage by Gabrielle Nicole, a soprano who performs frequently on the Seattle cabaret scene and also performs burlesque as Miss Pixie Rose, and Matthew Stull, a founding member of The Bobs, a Grammy-nominated a cappella vocal group. Stull has performed with Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Ray Charles, and at the Emmy Awards and the Oscars. Another actor and singer with a suite of wide-ranging talents, Joanna Klein, will also perform.

For more information about the show, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.


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