Opinion: With Live Cancellations, Is It 2020 All Over Again?

Omicron is hitting the arts hard, but this time there’s a difference

Andrew Ceglio singing with the Cabrillo Jazz Band in 2012. First known to local audiences as a performer, Ceglio recently took over as Executive and Artistic Director for Actors’ Theatre. PHOTO: JANA MARCUS

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

I have to admit it felt like March of 2020 all over again when Jana Marcus of Actors’ Theatre told me last week that the company’s famed 8 Tens @ 8 festival would be going virtual this year due to the highly transmissible Covid variant Omicron. We had already planned a cover story on the big changes at Actors’ Theatre to run this week, in advance of the festival, and combined with all the live music events that have been cancelled in the last couple of weeks, the news about 8 Tens definitely gave me flashbacks to the beginning of the pandemic, when weeks worth of stories had to be scrapped, and for a while we seemed to need a cover story every other week just to write about all the sectors that were affected by the shutdown.

I think what’s different this time is very interesting, though. This time, Actors’ Theatre’s new Executive and Artistic Director Andrew Ceglio was prepared, as he had already arranged for a crew to film the performances for virtual viewing. The group’s plan could be a map for how stage companies deal with pandemic productions—and really, even post-pandemic productions—in the future, and Christina Waters did a great job of pivoting on this cover story to explain the significance of how this played out.

Last week, I promised an article wrapping up Santa Cruz Gives, and Johanna Miller has a story on the final total and why it matters in this issue.

Also, just a reminder to go to and vote for your favorite people and businesses in the Best of Santa Cruz County balloting!



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