Saint Paul, Minnesota (January 19, 2021) — The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is proud to announce several new guest artists who will appear in the Ordway’s ‘Meet the Artists,’ a series of free livestreamed conversations with performers, directors, designers and more. This online series invites audiences to meet the incredible national and local artists who create shows in the Ordway’s flagship series, Broadway at the Ordway. Meet the Artists events will be hosted by the Ordway’s Producing Artistic Director Rod Kaats. Other Twin Cities artists will join as co-hosts for some of the events. Theater Mu Artistic Director Lily Tung Crystal will co-host the first event this month. The series comes at a time when performing arts has been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment rates for actors and dancers are well over 50% now compared to a national unemployment rate of approximately 8.5%. “Artists are among the most underemployed workers in the country. I’ve been losing a lot of sleep since the pandemic began, and I’m one of many. We’re all really worried about how artists will weather this time,” said Kaats. “All of us at the Ordway are yearning for the day we can safely reopen our doors and invite audiences, and artists, to be back where they belong: together. Until then, I hope this series, by creating a virtual town square, will remind us why gathering together in person is so important.” Each event in the series will include a livestreamed, hour-long, free-flowing conversation with artists, followed by a 20-minute audience Q&A session. These events are free; no admission is charged, but reservations are required. “Making theater virtually is tricky, because something important is missing. When we’re not all in the room together, one of the foundations of the experience, the ‘live-ness,’ is absent. But virtual conversations with artists, in their homes, with the occasional cat walking in front of the screen, or child who needs their attention, has an intimacy that’s palpable. I’m hoping that brings audiences and artists closer,” Kaats said. “And these conversations will be fun. The artists we’ll be talking to are witty and wise, insightful, entertaining and often hilarious. These are artists you definitely want to meet.” The Ordway plans to continue the virtual Meet the Artists series even after it resumes live programming on its stages. Below is the list of confirmed events in the series as currently scheduled. Each of the livestreamed events begins at 6:00pm.
While each conversation in the Meet the Artists series is free, reservations are required. Visit the links above to make a reservation for any of the events scheduled through the end of March 2021. The Ordway’s Meet the Artists series is presented by Bremer Bank.