Creatives and artists have been suffering, as well, and Marc Raby, director of the Encore Theatre and Gallery in East Birmingham, has spent the past month helping the best way he knows how.
“For a creative, not being able to do what we do is really like a fish being out of water, so we decided that the way we would weather this time would be to figure out some way to work on our craft and entertain people at the same time,” Raby said.
Before Raby opened Encore in 2018, there weren’t many black shows presented in Birmingham.
During Encore’s first season, five major shows were featured—and “we packed the house every single time,” he said, sharing that shows from that season included “For Colored Girls” by Ntozake Shange, “Happy Ending” by Douglas Turner Ward, and “Tiny Tim,” an original work by Raby.
The pandemic has also helped Raby realize the importance of his work because most people are finding solace in the arts during this time.