COVID-19 Update PushPush Arts
COVID-19 Update from PushPush Arts’ Artistic Director Tim Habeger.
“In early March, we canceled upcoming workshops and other group gatherings,” says Tim Habeger, co-founder and artistic director of PushPush. “About three weeks after that we canceled our summer camp in the new space [in College Park].”
Nevertheless, PushPush continues with the company’s core activities, which are project development, artists’ development, and incubating new work. A series of outdoor film screenings is in the works. A socially-distant outdoor artists market is scheduled for August 15-16. The company is also in rehearsals for two shows in the fall.
“We are exploring some innovative ways to handle these in a socially distant way, from pods and screens to drive-in situations where the performance takes place around, over, and even on the cars,” Habeger says. “We have the room now, and we are always exploring new ways to tell new stories.”
On August 8, Waller’s Coffee in Decatur will host an outdoor reading from JD Hollingsworth’s novel, Frankenstein’s Paradox. In September, PushPush plans on presenting Sounds Like Rain, a “movie-play” written pre-COVID by Dad’s Garage founding member Brian Griffin. Described by Habeger as a “dark comedy about a world where social distancing is the only possibility,” seating for Sounds Like Rain will be limited to 15-20 seats per night. The audience will sit in special viewing pods 15 feet apart from each other and 20 feet from the production.
In October/November, PushPush will present Elephant in the Room, a new play by Atlanta’s Sahr Ngaujah (Fela!, Moulin Rouge) and Jean Marie Keevins (Henson Foundation). The performance will be staged outdoors in the Infinite Games Art Park on the PushPush Arts campus. This special event will consist of short scenes incorporating puppetry, live action, and music, not the full production of Elephant in the Room, which is scheduled for 2021.
“Our 5-year plan ends this year, having accomplished our key goal of finding a new venue with trusted partners on the MARTA line last October,” Habeger says. “Now that a recession and worse is upon us, and ongoing racial disparities have been brought into greater focus, we are calling our response ‘Post-COVID Recovery Planning (Arts Crisis Recovery Plan).’ It’s based on a very long-term period of struggle in the live arts communities where we have an opportunity to rebuild better by addressing Atlanta’s crippling divisions.“