The wait is over for the Butterfly Effect Theatre of Colorado to begin another season, this time returning to an indoor stage.
BETC will begin the season with “The Children,” written by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood. The play is produced and directed by BETC’s co-founder Stephen Weitz.
“The Children” is a post-nuclear disaster thriller — which runs Sept. 15- Oct. 8. The play features three nuclear physicists who are in their 60s. The scientists wrestle with the chaos they are leaving behind for future generations.
“This was a play we were really interested in doing back before the pandemic and its still extremely relevant and powerful and we are really excited that we get to bring it to folks,” Weitz said.
The season will continue with “The Royale” by Marco Ramirez which opens Oct. 27. “Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson” by Kate Hamill kicks off in the new year on Feb. 2 and “Eden Prairie, 1971” by Mat Smart will close the season beginning April 6.
Each production can be seen at the Dairy Arts Center.
The BETC crew adapted the seasons that fell during the pandemic to outdoor stages and virtual performances but for Weitz, it just wasn’t the same.
“There is something different, I think, about being in a truly shared space … There have been studies that show that during a theatrical performance audiences' heart rates will regulate to a very similar tempo. There is something about that shared energy,” Weitz said.
Producing theatre during the pandemic was a learning experience for Weitz and many other theatre participants. Like many other theatre companies, BETC learned many new skills it would not have attempted before, Weitz said.
“The other big impact for all arts participants and creators is that I think it really heightened how much we can do to share our art in a multitude of accessible ways,” Weitz said. “One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that all of a sudden there was all this art online.”
Although Weitz agrees that taking the arts virtually wasn’t the same experience, he said it was a good thing to push artists beyond — in his case — the four walls of the theatre and to think about those who can’t afford to or and unable to physically attend.
The main play shows will not be available virtually but BETC is expanding other programming so that it is accessible virtually this season.