For the foreseeable future Hamptons-based arts centers are forced to find creative ways to entertain East End crowds – in the comforts of their own homes. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) and Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Arts Academy are hosting a Virtual Arts Festival on Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27 that will highlight music, theatre, dance, and more.
“In times of uncertainty, it’s always helpful to go back and look at your mission,” WHBPAC Interim Executive Director, Julienne Penza-Boone explained. “While we may not be able to gather people in person, we can still fulfill our mission of bringing high quality arts experiences to our constituents – we just have to get creative!”
The two-day extravaganza will feature a plethora of highly amusing content, with remote performances from WHBPAC Mainstage acts that were forced to reschedule because of the pandemic. Headliners will include Savage Pianos, the NYC-based hit dueling piano show – who will be taking requests (the set list already includes tunes from Madonna, Neil Diamond, and The Beatles), Long Island’s own Jeff LeBlanc (who will now take to the WHBPAC stage in October), Shawn Mullins, local favorites, including Valerie diLorenzo, Darren Ottati, and Fred Raimondo, and more.
The musicians are thrilled to be a part of the unique event. “I’m honored to be asked to do ANYTHING for WHBPAC! WHBPAC is always sensitive to the needs of the community – continually offering programming for ALL ages and providing an innovative way to keep us all connected in an unprecedented, critical and scary time in our world and community,” diLorenzo expressed. “Hopefully the music will lift us out of our living rooms into this ‘Whole New World’ in a good and uplifting way.”
“Of course, it’s extra-exciting with Julienne Penza-Boone at the helm with her fresh, positive and innovative ideas and infectious smile,” diLorenzo added. “Their Virtual Arts Festival is just another way that proves there is quality programming all year long on the East End and an audience to support it!”
“Very excited that WHBPAC has included me in their Virtual Arts Festival. In this strange and difficult time, it’s comforting to know that folks can kind find some joy and distraction while enjoying and supporting the arts. Hope folks can check it out,” Raimondo encouraged.
There will be a full program devoted to the gifted students and alumni of the WHBPAC Arts Academy, who recently begun rehearsals for their spring session performances, which include the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Best of Broadway and An Absolutely True Story (As Told by a Bunch of Lying Liars).
“We didn’t want to let the kids down who are working so hard on their craft,” noted Kristen Poulakis, Arts Academy Manager.
Additionally, WHBPAC will debut never-before-seen virtual photo galleries, as well as exclusive digital content.
“This Virtual Arts Festival is a great way to celebrate those artists that would have been performing on our stage this spring, and at the same time showcase our incredible arts academy students, who we’re missing so much!” Penza-Boone concluded.
Thursday will revolve around Mainstage performances and Friday will feature Arts Academy highlights. The excitement commences at 11 a.m. on both days. It will screen on Facebook.com, Instagram.com, and www.youtube.com.
For more information about Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, visit whbpac.org.