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Live Theater In A Pandemic: A One-Woman Show For An Audience Of Four

Cari Grindem-Corbett
Laura Lillian Baggett in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of "A Hundred Words for Snow" by Tatty Hennessy, directed by Jerome Davis.

Burning Coal Theatre Company’s only in-person performance this fall opened last week to a rapt audience of...four. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the live production of “A Hundred Words for Snow” is being performed before drastically-reduced audience sizes, creating an intimate atmosphere. 

The show has another unconventional feature — the audience spends a portion of the play blindfolded, while sound design and dialogue from the play’s sole character help convey images of plane rides and the snowy landscape of the Arctic. “A Hundred Words for Snow” tells the story of 15-year-old Rory — played alternately by Laura Lillian Baggett and Kimmy Fiorentino — who sets off on a journey to scatter her father’s ashes at the North Pole. Host Frank Stasio talks with Baggett and director Jerome Davis about creating live theater in a pandemic.

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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