Hamilton's Meteor Theatre is gearing up to reignite live arts and reopen its doors tomorrow after two months of closure during the Covid-19 response Alert Levels.
Theatre, comedy, live youth bands, a kid's show and a live-streaming festival are just some of the events on the cards for The Meteor in the coming months.
June 6 marks the first live event at the theatre - long-running gallery crafting event Music to Make Things To - but it also will be the beginning of The Meteor's Reignite Campaign- a massive fundraising drive for the theatre to help recover from a crippling loss of more than 70 per cent of annual earned income through Covid-19 cancellations.
The Meteor will fundraise via online crowd-funding platform Boosted Live, by collaborating on a live recording and digital streaming project with three local productions that were about to go nationwide before lock-down.
Reignite aims to showcase Waikato performing arts and to provide a platform for these shows to continue their artistic journeys, by presenting the works online to a national audience and those who are unable to attend live performances.
"It's apt that we are starting our Reignite: The Meteor project on D-Day - June 6," says theatre manager Deborah Nudds.
"It represents the 'storming' of the space by some great local acts to get performing arts events live again.
"Our Reignite campaign will be running right through to July 11, concluding with our kids show Destination Earth," she says.
"The campaign is focused on reawakening The Meteor as a performance space, showcasing local work and helping our community trust venue to survive and remain independent in these difficult times.
"We have been supported by Government and CNZ wage relief, but we can't take out bank loans to cover our operational costs."
Three local works being showcased in Reignite were booked for festival and venue programmes across the country but are now facing uncertain prospects after Covid-19.
They are: Sorry For Your Loss on June 19, a one-woman play by rising talent Cian Gardner about her own life story, developed by CNZ and Creative Waikato's Incubator project in 2019; Ihirangaranga on June 27, an immersive multimedia work, showcasing toi Māori, through modern composition, taonga puoro, spoken word and live painting, by local practitioners Jeremy Mayall, Horomona Horo, Michael Moore and Regan Balzer; Hood Street: The Musical on July 25, a catchy musical comedy show by four of Hamilton's most proficient musical theatre talents – Kyle Cheun, Nick Wilkinson, Courteney Mayall and Nick Braae- about life in Hamilton's infamous bar precinct.
"These performances will be filmed by a multi-camera crew, with live sound and video mixing to create a high-quality recording, with a small live audience, as gatherings of 100 are allowed in the alert level 1 and 2 restrictions," says Deborah.
"The videos will then be streamed via the Boosted Live website by The Meteor for one performance and the donations received will go towards sustaining our creative space."
Throughout the course of their Reignite campaign The Meteor will also host a range of other small-scale events, such as solo improv comedy show The Reboot on June 7 and 14, where local actor, writer, improviser and Meteor trustee Ross Macleod will create sequels to popular films suggested by an online audience.
Plus there will be touring stand-up comedy from rising star Joe Daymond and Liam Malone, the gold medal Paralympian, on June 25.
The Meteor is also hosting the YMCA'S New Found Sound, a free musical talent show for youth aged 13-18 years on June 26.
Reignite: The Meteor ends with a July School Holiday's Kid's Show, Destination Earth by Courteney Mayall. Another high-quality local production, Destination Earth is an all-ages, all-original fun-filled, interactive and educational adventure all about planet Earth.
For full details on upcoming Meteor events and the Reignite campaign visit themeteor.co.nz