Postcards From The Pandemic: Waiting For The Curtain To Rise On NEO Stages
Nina Domingue-Glover has acted in, directed and had her plays produced by numerous Northeast Ohio theater companies including Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Dobama, Cleveland Playhouse and Talespinner Children’s Theater.
However, the closing of non-essential businesses which includes theaters has currently brought down the curtain, for the most part, on Domingue-Glover’s normally very active career.
Nina Domingue-Glover performing her one-woman show "Ya Mama!" at Cleveland Public Theatre [Steve Wagner / Cleveland Public Theatre]
'I Knew We’d Be First'
When I heard about this stay-at-home order, I knew that we were going to be first because theater is essentially, ‘let's get as many people as possible together in the room.’
I was also thinking about my colleagues and just how many people it was going to hit. I just knew that the rest of our seasons were basically going be canceled. I started thinking about all of my friends who are going be out of work so quickly. What was our next move going to be?
Domingue-Glover and her college friends formed the Oaks Collective and produced an evening of monologues during the pandemic. [Nina Domingue-Glover]
Slowing Down, Staying Sharp
I'm artistically slowing down.
I am in a privileged position in that my husband is still an essential worker who works at a steel mill. We don't have to rely on my artistic endeavors to support the household, though they do supplement quite significantly.
I'm trying to use the time, because I'm in the position where I can take the space, to rest and recharge. I'm not trying to force myself to create.
I do try to keep up my discipline and my craft and do something once a week, even if it's just for me.
I attended Dillard University in New Orleans where I'm from. A group of friends of mine from college have been working on something since January that we were set to launch digitally in April. We decided amongst the five of us to go ahead and move forward. It's called the Oaks Collective. We did an evening of monologues that was prerecorded and edited together. It was actually really very fulfilling. We are still taking our time, but working on some things together because we're all in different places.
Nina Domingue-Glover in “Paradise Blue” by Dominique Morrisseau at Karamu House. [Lewis BJ Burrell / Nina Domingue-Glover]
The Show Must Go On - But How?
I'm interested in new modes of performing that will emerge. There has been a lot of conversation about that, but I have purposefully not engaged in too much of that yet, just from my own personal mental well-being It's not the main issue for me right now. I think keeping my family safe, healthy, loved and calm is my primary focus.
I feel like there are still too many things unanswered. I am confident that we will figure it out. If nothing else, theater artists are creative problem solvers. In that respect, the show must go on is the thing that we have said for centuries. Theater people will find a way to make it go forward. In the end, there are a lot of really genius creative problem solvers working on those things nationally. When the time comes, I'll become a part of the conversation in a more meaningful way.
Production and design team during technical rehearsals for Dobama Theatre's production of Dominique Morrisseau's “Skeleton Crew” directed by Nina Domingue-Glover [Nina Domingue-Glover]