Theatre Company, O.C. Offer Creative Entertainment Amid Coronavirus

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEOcean City Theatre Company is in the creativity business.The last couple of weeks have put that to the test amid the coronavirus outbreak.So, what did Michael Hartman, founder of the theatre company and also Ocean City special events coordinator, decide to do — along with the help of very willing participants?He took to Instagram to create avenues for young people to still enjoy local theater and, in another project, have the Ocean City crown holders read to children and their families during royalty story time, he explained in an interview Friday.“Moments like this one, Hurricane Sandy and 9-11, make you want to stop and hit the reset button. You have to see the human spirit and stay focused on the good,” Hartman noted. “We have to stay connected and engaged.”For those who love theater, the stage, albeit is a bit different, it is a virtual one, but viewers can enjoy some of the top OCTC performers by following OCTheatreCo on Instagram.The virtual cabarets via Instagram are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.Up first was Megan McDevitt. She has appeared in several OCTC productions including Beauty and the Beast (Belle), A Chorus Line (Maggie), Fiddler on the Roof (Chava) and the title roles in Cinderella and Junie B. Jones.Hartman said the virtual event was viewed by people from all over.“Megan sang a couple of songs and she performed a little bit, Hartman said. “It put the light on the theater as a whole. She shared tips. These little opportunities give hope to kids that they could attain their dreams.”Families are getting ready for crown holders to read stories on Instagram this Monday.He added, “My heart is with making sure the kids and the arts stay strong.”The virtual prince and princess story time is something that he anticipates will be a big draw.The first royalty story time is Monday, March 23 at 10:30 a.m. Miss Ocean City 2020 Mary Grace Jamison will start it off by reading to children and their families and even chat about her experiences as a crown holder.After that, Hartman said the plan is for the other title holders, Junior Miss Natalie Argento and Little Miss Antonella DiAntonio, to participate in the story times.He noted that with all of the events cancelled or postponed that the queens would have participated in, this was the best idea to keep them involved and to help make a difference.“I reached out to them and said we will have to be creative with what we do to have an impact,” Hartman explained.Mary Grace will dress up in a gown and wear her crown as will the other queens.Viewers — including parents and guardians — are asked to get involved.“People can log into Instagram and if they have old Disney costumes or want to make crowns out of paper they could do so,” Hartman said. “Moms and dads can participate. Families have to be creative and it is a great opportunity for the queens to be role models for the kids.”For both theater company Instagram events and story times the viewers will have access to them for up to 24 hours.“At the end of the day, these are the stories that matter,” Hartman said. “Ocean City will be OK. It is a town that will bounce back. It is sort of woven in its foundation.” The first OCTC virtual performance was widely received, officials say. Pictured is Megan McDevitt from hits including OCTC’s Junie B. Jones. (Images courtesy City of Ocean City)last_img read more