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The Local Take COVID-19 Stories: Choreographer Stepp Stewart

Saturday morning on WCLK's The Local Take, as part of our ongoing COVID19 stories, I speak with Stepp Stewart, a choreographer who has entertained us with soulful musicals throughout the years. Live performers have not been able to entertain during the Pandemic. Broadway shut down and isn't scheduled to open until Spring 2021. Summer festivals, holiday concerts, plays, everything has been put on hold. I ask Stepp, a veteran of the Broadway stage, how he has been impacted.

He exclaimed, "We hate it!"

He explained that artists and entertainers, like everyone else, have moved into a virtual environment. They are using technology tools from YouTube to Facebook to reach people, but many are not being paid.

Jamie Moreen, a performer in Stepp Stewart's family classic "A Soulful Christmas," commiserated with Stepp about the lack of opportunities to perform. They both mentioned that often virtual events cost more to produce than a staged production.

Stepp called his crew together at the Porter Sandford Performing Arts Center, brought in a camera crew (including a drone) and they went for it! They added special effects and filmed the entire production in a single take. The finished product will premiere on December 18th at 8 pm online at A Soulful Christmas LIVE. The production will run from 12/18 - 12/24. One ticket gives you access to the entire run of the show.

Stepp shared that Broadway is looking to open in April with the blockbuster Hamilton with only 50% of the seats available. He thinks that Hamilton is probably the only product that opens, knowing they will have a loss. I asked Stepp about his future. He spoke about hoping to bring back his annual productions in the late Spring of 2021. He's hoping to set up his production of CINDY The Musical for an Off-Broadway run in 2021.