Needless to say, facing a global pandemic was not how the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) had expected to spend their 10th year of operation, but the local theater group has risen to the challenge by sharing its art virtually.
Now, BROS has launched a fundraising campaign to help cover their coronavirus-related losses and continue creating digital content.
The group hopes to raise $10,000 before the end of 2020 as part of its $10K for 10 Years Campaign. People can donate to BROS at baltimorerockopera.org/donate.
The money raised through the campaign will help BROS produce new works, retain paid staff, move out of its headquarters in the Bell Foundry in Greenmount West by the end of the year.
“We are incredibly thankful that we have been able to maintain through 2020 and continue creating art thanks in no small part to the generosity of our donors,” BROS Executive Director Aran Keating said in a statement. “Those familiar with us know that we are not content to sit on our hands, and we’re hopeful that this successful campaign will go a long way in helping us keep producing content during this time when people need it most.”
The group announced the campaign last week with a video featuring BROS team members — wielding instruments, carrying puppets, and donning wolf suits and other eye-catching garb — as they march down Baltimore streets.
The theater group had planned two original productions this year: an original full-scale production titled “Gliterrus” and a Halloween event called “The Ceremony of the Faceless.” But BROS had to put both shows and several other annual events on hold due to a revenue shortfall.
Instead, they have shifted to virtual projects, including challenging people in May to create and submit their own rock opera videos that are three minutes or less.
BROS showcased an anti-racism centered Rock Opera 101 concert series, which was directed and performed by Baltimore musician Jonathan Gilmore, celebrating Black musicians in rock and roll. The series received a spot in the Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America program.
The group also hosted an online game show called “Good Job!” in lieu of its annual members’ party and held its annual Swanktacular fundraising gala online.
BROS is currently producing its first-ever short film series called the “Puppet 6-Pack,” which will release in early 2021 and later collect into an anthology film titled, “Holes: A Puppet Anthology.”