COVID and LUMA 2020

COVID and LUMA 2020

We had such plans for 2020!

LUMA’s sixth season was on track to be our most compelling yet. Still, when the COVID crisis struck in early March, we knew everything had changed. The health and safety of our artists and festival goers has always been our first priority. And it simply wasn’t the right time to focus on a festival.

But as that challenging spring wore on, we began to see a place for LUMA in the fall–perhaps not as it had always been–but in some new form. Though we may be best known for projection mapping, we’ve always said that LUMA was a storytelling celebration before it was anything. There were so many innovative ways we began to imagine for artists to connect with audiences, even in the midst of the crisis. In fact, our work started to feel more vital than ever. We eventually settled on a program of five groundbreaking projects; each one aimed to reinvent a popular art form by developing online tools for a socially distant age that could deliver artists’ work with nuance and depth.

That’s when we ran into our second wrinkle.

A few of our amazing financial backers suddenly realized they wouldn’t be able to come through with their 2020 commitments. It was an unprecedented situation.

For a third time, we were forced to start from scratch. But the adversity also brought clarity. One of the five projects felt the most important–the most innovative. The performing arts had ground to a halt because of COVID. Theatre, dance, opera, Broadway–none could function with audience packed in thousands at a time.

We began to imagine a way to present an online form of theatre the combined the bold production values of Broadway with the intimacy of a tiny immersive theatre. We teamed up with Tri-Cities Opera and Opera Omaha to develop the idea.

What emerged was Miranda: A Steampunk Theatre Experience. We hope you join us for an online presentation–either on YouTube or in VR–as we embark on a shared experiment with a team of world-class artists and are always open-minded audience.