Local actor keeps Richmond theater alive during pandemic

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect entertainment industries, including the theater, one local actor aims to “keep the show alive” by bringing the stage to people’s homes, through film.

“Capturing that element of life on stage is unparalleled for me,” said Jordan Stroud, who’s been acting since he was in high school.

Most recently, Stroud earned a gig at the Chamberlayne Actors Theatre. But the pandemic was a “show stopper” for theaters across the country and not the good kind.

Once crowded theaters turned into empty seats, and actors had to exit stage left. That’s when Stroud’s creative juices began flowing.

Jordan Stroud

“What can we do realistically?” Stroud asked. “Stages and studios are practically the same things. I knew if I put a camera in front of a stage, I could record anything.”

With a crew of only five people, Stroud began filming several plays the community could not experience in person.

He used his own equipment, and intentionally only chose plays with three actors, so the crew could practice social distancing.

Every night, he opens up his laptop to edit the films together. Then, he makes them available to the community.

“This kind of art, so many people rely on it and not just for emotional fulfillment,” Stroud said. “It needs to be preserved and it needs to keep happening.”

Stroud believes even in the absence of physical connection, art can keep people connected. He hopes other actors will expand on his idea, and help theaters across the country get back on their feet.

“The whole art sector needs help and support,” he said, “and that’s what I want to showcase here.”

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