Cultural industries and pandemic: Maga Altman’s (MP Producciones) shares her point of view from the role of the producer. Expectations, reality, changes and adaptation


Aladín en el Teatro Gran Rex. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph

The actual scene we are living today as generators of projects linked to the theater and the live show is really critical.

In our case, we had a Latin American tour of a children’s / youth show scheduled from mid-March to mid-June, which includes Mexico and the main capitals of Latin America. As the pandemic appeared in the different countries of the continent, the idea of suspension in each of these territories became more concrete.

On the other hand, since November 2019 we had the sale open for functions for a musical at the Opera theater in Buenos Aires with a large number of pre-sold tickets. And trials that were about to start when the quarantine was stablished.

The role that we assumed while we experienced this situation, I think changed as the quarantine process advanced over the months.

At first, we hope to wait to see how the pandemic develops in our country. Then, when we thought that the quarantine would not last more than two months, we decided to postpone the functions until the beginning of January 2021. This is still the case, but it will depend on how things will be done in the coming months.

It is necessary to evaluate various factors referring to when the restrictions for the theater sector are lifted, with what protocols will have to be followed, if the public will be prepared and without fear to go to the theater and how badly the market will be hit to consume this type of proposals, which represent a very important investment.

Tini GMST en el Teatro Gran Rex. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph
Violetta en vivo en el Fórum de Valencia, Venezuela. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono producciones/  Foto: @pochoph

At first too, when we thought this was for a smaller period, all of us who had pre-edited content from past works, we started uploading them to the network, as a way of entertainment. But when we began to understand that this was going to last more than two months, we started to think about how we could monetize pre-recorded content and what content we could generate for different streaming platforms with tickets for sale.

All producers and artists of live shows, from independent theaters, commercials and major international festivals, adapted their content so that people can access their proposals from their homes. Exactly the same thing happened at the concert level.

From the concerts via streaming, to the shows mounted to watch from a car (same format as the drive-in theater), this are models that started to appear since the pandemic, and that are taken as an entertainment model possible to replicate.

I particularly believe that some of the proposals that emerge from the mandatory quarantine are proposals that will remain in parallel when the situation returns to normal. The possibility of seeing a unique and unrepeatable function that is happening in another part of the world and being able to witness it from your home I think is something positive that will leave us with this difficult moment. Without questioning the theatrical event or what happens in a music concert can never be replaced because that rite implies the energy and presence of the artist and his audience. But I think that the expansion of streaming brings you closer to proposals that otherwise you could never have a presence.

Aladín en el Teatro Gran Rex. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph
Violetta Live en el Luna Park. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones. Foto: @pochoph

MP’s projects for this year will remain linked to proposals for events via streaming for different brands with which we have worked for many years. And generating long-term projects. At the moment we do not implement virtual functions, but we are working on it.

Personally, I think that face-to-face theater will return gradually and with many restrictions. Possibly the entire room is not allowed at first, restricting it to 50% of its capacity. This may imply that the high investment proposals cannot be adapted until the capacities of the rooms can be used 100%. Surely with the 50% capacity protocol, the official rooms can resume their functions, and large producers of the commercial theater, who are producers as well as theater owners, can resume the activity. For independent production companies that do not have theaters and operations with very large productions, unfortunately, it will be long enough until we can raise the curtain.

Playground en vivo en el Teatro El Nacional. © Gentileza MP Producciones/  Foto: POCHO PH
Simona en vivo en el estadio Luna Park. © Gentileza MP Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph
Violetta Live en el estadio Tecnopolis. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph
Peter Pan- será genial en el Teatro Gran Rex. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph
Peter Pan- será genial en el Teatro Gran Rex. © Gentileza MP Producciones y Ozono Producciones/  Foto: @pochoph
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