Queens Theatre digital challenge puts focus on families
by Sara Krevoy
Jun 06, 2020 | 2559 views | 0 0 comments | 287 287 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Like many arts organizations in New York City, Queens Theatre is navigating the challenges of shutting its physical doors by pivoting to a virtual space.

The venue, which has been connecting with audiences online, recently added yet another item to its slate of entertainment, instruction and programs: Family Jams.

The new initiative “Queens Theatre At Home” is challenging families quarantining together to show off their musical chops, whether your performance is worthy of a major record deal or you can’t find Middle C on a keyboard.

“Music can bring a family together and a particular song can have a long-lasting impact on a family’s memory,” explained Queens Theatre education director Richard Hinojosa.

Families from across the globe are encouraged to assemble a “band” and record themselves singing and playing instruments together. Email info@queenstheatre.org for information on the best way to send submissions.

Videos are shared with the tag “#QueensTheatreAtHome” on the Queens Theatre Facebook and Twitter pages.

Hinojosa says that though he is looking forward to seeing students and participants in person when the time comes, he’s been enjoying the creativity that comes along with transitioning to a digital-only environment.

So far, the Queens Theatre At Home program features three weekly activities in addition to Family Jams. The Maker Series each Wednesday at 1 p.m. consists of step-by-step tutorials on everything from basic crafting techniques to grandma’s tortilla recipe.

On Fridays, the venue hosts a Digital Story Circle at 1 p.m. as a means for the community to come together and share their experiences with the pandemic. Friday nights at 7:30 p.m., Queens Storytellers Online broadcasts stories by writers and performers whose work has been shown on stages and screens all over the country.

“Art and music are those things that people live for, what they go out for, what they crave,” said Hinojosa. “It takes them away from the harsh reality that we’re living in and puts them in a nice space.”

Queens Theatre At Home is also translating the venue’s work with local seniors to an online medium, providing nostalgic sing-a-long sessions, dance classes and wellness check-ins for the community’s most vulnerable population over Zoom.

Going forward, Hinojosa revealed the upcoming launch of brand new virtual programming, including a theatrical family game night, self-taping guidance for performers with disabilities, and an online Queens Theatre summer camp.

Stay tuned at queenstheatre.org for updates and more information.
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