Spoleto Festival USA has announced a new, virtual presentation of Romantics Anonymous, which was slated to be part of the 2020 arts fest in Charleston before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Presented by Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and Plush Theatrical, Romantics Anonymous is a musical about two chocolate makers that was slated to run during 2020’s festival.

The U.S. premiere of Romantics Anonymous streams Sept. 26 at 4 p.m., performed and broadcast live from the Bristol Old Vic. You can buy tickets online at spoletousa.org.

Over 30 partner theater organizations around the world are selling tickets for various online performances of Romantics Anonymous (which will stream Sept. 22-26 to audience’s homes), with each performance tailored to audiences in particular regions.

Each cast member of Romantics Anonymous will be tested for coronavirus before forming a bubble in Bristol, U.K., allowing the cast and creative team to perform the entire show without social distancing.

Spoleto Festival USA announced that it would be canceling its 2020 festival this past March, citing concerns surrounding the international pandemic. At the time the festival’s executive director, Nigel Redden, said it would be “irresponsible” to hold the festival, which brings casts and crews from performing arts organizations all over the world to Charleston.

Redden hopes to “transpose” much of 2020’s schedule onto 2021’s festival.

When City Paper chatted with Redden this past May he stressed the importance of continuing to tell and share stories to keep the arts alive during these strange, often bleak times. He said: “It’s these stories that we tell each other about finding common threads in life and we do this at times that are stressful, be it COVID-19 or before. The arts are about finding these moments of common humanity.”

Stay tuned for more info about Spoleto’s 2021 season by following along online.
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