With cases of the highly contagious Omicron COVID variant surging throughout the DC metro area, including some breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated cast, Dominion Stage has decided to reschedule their production of the Stone-Age musical comedy Firebringer to later in 2022 as conditions allow. The show was originally scheduled to open January 21.
“These [breakthrough cases] happened at a critical time in our rehearsal schedule…just weeks from opening night,” says Firebringer director Michael Page. “Some actors are recovering, and with the Omicron variant being so easy to catch, the chance of others coming down with it is extremely high. Better to postpone the show than have it run without enough rehearsals, or have to cancel performances.”
Firebringer was to be Dominion’s first musical production since Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson in early 2020, just weeks before the first COVID wave closed productions around the world. While live theatre has begun to return, the new Omicron variant is wreaking havoc on the casts of current productions. “In many professional companies, understudies can step in when an actor in a key role cannot perform,” says Dominion Stage president, Matthew Randall. “But understudies are rare in community theatre productions and Firebringer is no exception.” Adds director Page, “This is also a show where every actor plays a named character who carries a part of the story. There are no ensemble parts where someone could potentially step into a larger role.”
Dominion Stage has successfully mounted two productions so far in their 72nd season. For The Bluest Eye in August, and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress in November, the company followed a strict COVID protocol, requiring proof of vaccination for actors as well as the clear face shields worn during rehearsals and performances. Masks have been required for audiences, crew and front of house staff. Both productions were well attended, with no COVID cases reported by anyone associated with them. Starting with Firebringer, proof of vaccination was to be required of audiences as well, which many theater companies—professional and community alike—have instituted as an extra layer of safety.
“It’s incredibly frustrating to have COVID continuing to be a factor just weeks from opening,” says Page. “Rehearsals have been great, the set pieces are almost finished, we were well on our way. At least with a postponement, everyone’s hard work will still have a chance to be seen.”
Dominion Stage is offering refunds for Firebringer tickets already purchased and will reopen sales for the new performance dates once they are determined.
Congratulations to the Cast of Firebringer! Special thank you to all who came out for auditions to share their talent with us!
Cast of Firebringer:
Lindsey Capuno as Zazzalil
Jessi Scott as Jemilla
Melanie Kurstin as Emberly
Cameron Powell as Grunt
Katelyn "Kit" Dayrit as Chorn
Nicole Keats Headd as Keeri
Ryan Washington as Ducker
Jessica Cooperstock as Shwoopsie
Sara Alipanah as Tiblyn
Glenn Williams as Smelly Balls
Melanie McGuin as Molag
Pat Mahoney as Clark
Dominion Stage Statement on COVID-19 Protocols for 2022
Dominion Stage is committed to providing a safe environment for all cast, crew, and patrons. Therefore all activities sponsored by Dominion Stage will always adhere to the current COVID-19 safety protocols set forth by federal, state, and county guidance. In addition, Dominion Stage may choose to implement additional safety measures above and beyond the standard guidelines, if the Board of Directors deems it necessary to preserve the health and safety of all individuals engaged in our community. All safety protocols will be clearly communicated to all individuals attending any Dominion Stage function.
Given that current conditions are frequently evolving and changing, safety protocols may be added or changed at any time to remain in compliance with the highest standards of safety. In the event of a change to safety procedures, changes will be communicated promptly to all impacted individuals. All cast, crew, patrons, volunteers, guests, and others present at Dominion Stage sponsored activities will be required to adhere to all current safety protocols at all times, without exception. Dominion Stage encourages all members of our community to get the COVID-19 vaccination, however, vaccinated individuals will still be required to adhere to all safety protocols.
Information about current guidelines can be found at the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.htmlVirginia Department of Health: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/Arlington County Health Department: https://www.arlingtonva.us/covid-19/
Current Safety Guidelines for Auditions and Rehearsals:
Auditions, rehearsals, and other meetings may be conducted indoors.Everyone is required to wear a mask in the Arlington County facilities, where we audition and rehearse, regardless of vaccination status.All cast, crew, and staff of Dominion Stage productions are required to be fully vaccinated.
Current Safety Guidelines for Performances:
All Dominion Stage cast, crew, and staff are required to be fully vaccinated.During performances actors will wear clear face shield masks. Audience, crew, and staff are required to wear a face mask throughout the performance.In order to attend a performance audience members are required to show proof of vaccination, or a negative covid test within 72 hours. Please note that Covid-19 protocols are subject to change in response to changing conditions.
Since a group of neighbors formed a play-reading group in 1949, Dominion Stage has been a part of the Arlington community. We are Arlington's oldest community theatre. We seek stories that reflect everyone in our community, especially those not usually highlighted. To us, "Anything But Predictable" means you'll see stories about the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the undead. We've explored incest, suicide, drug abuse, mental illness, sexuality, prejudice, puppet sex, crime, and life in a trailer park, on a desert isle, in a locker room, and at a boarding school. Sometimes we're not the best choice for grandma or the kids, and we'll let you know. We ARE the best choice for theatre that makes you think, helps you understand, makes you laugh (frequently), makes you cry (sometimes), and celebrates the community we are all a part of.
Dominion Stage's current black-box home (the original library of Gunston Middle School) gives us space to present musicals with large casts and sets, as well as the intimacy necessary for more dramatic pieces and comedies. Seating configuration changes with each production, and audience members are rarely more than a few steps from the actors. There is plentiful free parking. Patrons enter via the main glass doors, pass Theatre One on the left, and follow the signs down the hall to Theatre Two, or may drive around the building to park closer to Theatre Two's entrance (look for the neon art). The closest Metro (though not walkable) is Pentagon City.
Dominion Stage is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Federal ID number 52-1349392.