Our Stories – The Making of POP 90

We’re hoping you’re joining us next Thursday, March 25 for Ovations’ big, live-and-virtual kickoff celebration of our 90th anniversary year. When you do, you’ll be experiencing Ovations through the looking glass of our digital realms: we will be live at Merrill Auditorium, but you, our audiences, are not quite able to be with us there yet. You’ll meet us in Zoom where we’ve all been conducting our lives this past year.

So what does it take to create a hybrid performance?

As you can see from the photos of Executive and Artistic Director Aimee M. Petrin, board chair Mary Allen Lindemann and our intrepid technical partners from Headlight AV, this party is something new for Ovations. We know a lot about how to put artists on our live stages. But hosting a hybrid event — part live, part broadcast, part pre-recorded — is closer to filmmaking or TV production.

A behind the scenes photo creating a video for POP 90

Behind the scenes filming for POP 90

Our Stage and Production Managers have developed a Run of Show: the timeline and grid of action and content that guides every production. The Run of Show tells our three camera operators and digital switcher what content to stream to you at home at any point in time. It might be live action from Camera 1 on the Merrill stage featuring guest emcees and performance artists Kerem Durdag and Sara Juli. It might be an exclusive, pre-recorded video from one of Ovations’ national touring artists such as Daniel Bernard Roumain, or Bridgman | Packer Dance. It could be a simple slide featuring a look at one of the unique Maine experiences we are auctioning right now. Each minute of the production needs to be planned in advance and executed with precision.

The Run of Show also tells our Stage Manager when to get our artists ready to go on stage; or our tech team to stand by for the next cue. What it doesn’t tell you is all the planning and work that comes BEFORE to create POP 90: the amazing event committee of Tania Powers, Susan Morris and Mary Allen Lindemann. The Event Sponsors. The work of the supportive Board, and the generosity of POP Star Party Hosts to ensure access for all. The POP Party Bags. And so much more!

In short: we’re getting ready to share a big and fabulous show with you. Ovations was launched amid the crisis of the Great Depression in 1931 and on Thursday, March 25 we will celebrate the ways we are surviving the current crisis: TOGETHER thanks to the magic of technology and collaboration. We hope you won’t miss this opportunity to gather with us, and we look forward to all of us being back together at Merrill soon.