|photo courtesy of Mixed Precipitation|
Since they're performing out of a pickup, props and set pieces are minimal, but charming and well used, including puppets (set and props design by Duane Tougas). Costumes (designed by Rhiannon Fiskradatz) have sort of a western theme, complete with matching masks. Under the direction of Scotty Reynolds and Jacob (Jäc) Miller, the cast (Yvonne Freese alternating with Jacob (Jäc) Miller, Tara Priolo, Momoko Tanno, Jason Kornelis, Joni Griffith, Audrey Niemi, and Benjamin Kornelis) is playful and expressive, and they all sing well - even through masks! Joni and Jason pull double duty, also playing in the band, along with Sarina Partridge on banjo (music direction by Gary Ruschman).
It may not be the full "Picnic Operetta" we're used to, but the "Pickup Truck Opera" is the same fun, playful, accessible opera/theater/music performance that Mixed Precipitiation offers every year. During a time when I'm starved for such things, even these short 25 minutes brought joy to my heart and made the world feel a little more normal. Maybe we can still have art, community, music, and joy during a pandemic, if only in smaller doses.