The COVID-19 pandemic opens up a new universe of art and theater for Tucson’s performing arts

About 8,000 people typically attend a given performance throughout the month. But last July, the company exceeded all expectations with its digital performance of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues.

Around 24,000 people got involved.

Last October, 17,000 saw an exclusive ATC concert with award-winning singer-songwriter / children’s book author Benjamin Scheuer, who was from England, performing at one of the first personal concerts in London since the pandemic began last spring.

And these numbers make Daniels think that even if theaters are safely allowed to perform in front of a live audience, they will stay digital.

“To get 24,000, 17,000 in one night, all of our production models will change when we get back,” he said. “I think digital will be with us to figure out how to stay connected.”

When they did the analysis of the audience attuning to the digital performances, they found that the majority were not from their core audience and donors in Arizona. In fact, most of the viewers came from all over the country – people who probably had no idea about ATC before.

“We connect with new target groups. … If there was a silver lining, we had to think about digital as a sustainable model, ”said Daniels. “If you never thought we were for you and now you’ve suddenly connected to us and been watching us online, why should we turn that off?”


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