The Kings Playhouse in Georgetown, P.E.I., wants to know how you’re doing during these strange days of COVID-19.
No, really. They do.
Playhouse executive director Haley Zavo and her team have been making phone calls to ask people in the community just that — How are you doing?
“We were just talking about how do we connect with our community, how do we make sure that everyone’s doing OK?” Zavo said in an interview with CBC Radio: Mainstreet P.E.I.‘s Matt Rainnie.
“We’re inviting people to either send us their phone number or to send us the phone number of a loved one, and members of our team at the playhouse will give them a call and we’ll chat with them.”
New friendships and connection
Zavo said the idea for the calls grew out of another project the playhouse been working on with women with disabilities called Thrive, which was interrupted when the pandemic hit P.E.I. in mid-March. This meant the team at the playhouse had to regroup and find new ways to connect with the project’s participants.
“We had started calling them and we thought you know, I bet there are other people who could use a phone call to have somebody check in on them,” said Zavo.
“Maybe we’ll just have some really wonderful conversations that maybe make some new friendships, hopefully provide a source of connection and something different in the day.”
We draw inspiration from buildings that are full of people, and now our buildings are empty.— Haley Zavo
Zavo said she believes that reaching out with a phone call is a very simple act, but also one that can be very nourishing.
“I really love connecting with people. I really think that it’s important when we’re here in our homes, you know, maybe alone or just with our family, that we remember that there are other human beings in the world and that we look for ways to connect with them.”
The Kings Playhouse was just about to announce its summer season when the pandemic changed Island life, and like many other venues, Zavo said things are at a standstill until they know what happens next.
“Maybe we will discover some incredible stories along the way, and that will help us inspire our creativity,” she said.
Get on the list
Those who want to receive a call from the playhouse team can reach out to its Facebook or Instagram, send an email to [email protected] or call them directly at (902) 652-2053.
So, how is Zavo doing?
She said she has three boys at home that bring her lots of joy, but there is also despair in what is happening in her community.
“When you’re responsible for a gathering place and people are not able to gather, it can feel like a bit of an empty time. We draw inspiration from buildings that are full of people and now our buildings are empty,” she said.
“Also to try to look on the bright side of things. It allows space for creativity. It allows, sort of, that space where we can look at our community and ask our community what they need and what we can provide.”