Summer Solstice has just passed, and around this time I take my annual stock of summertime plays, operas and ballets offered in my area and in places I hope to visit in the coming months. I always collect an endless wish list of events that are tailored to relaxing summer afternoons and long, sky-lit evenings.
...Yet despite my best efforts to keep track of seasonal offerings, the litany of websites I visit and glossy brochures I gather can be overwhelming. It's not until September that I come across that brochure for a not-to-be-missed production of "Much Ado About Nothing" in the park, only to realize that the final bow had been taken in July and the stage disassembled just before Labor Day.
This year, I'm relying less on picking up pamphlets at box offices, and more on notices direct from fine arts companies that appear in my News Feed on Facebook. Many savvy councils for the arts have Facebook Pages, where I can read reviews, find discounted tickets and get notifications about upcoming events. Here are but a few of my favorites:
Behind the Scenes at the Opera
The Royal Opera House recently posted a note about this summer's BP Big Screens, showing operas in parks and public squares around the United Kingdom — from Trafalgar Square in London to Millennium Square in Bristol.
Across the pond in Iowa, the Des Moines Metro Opera, in preparation for "The Barber of Seville", posted a call for ushers on opening weekend at the end of June. If you're an opera aficionado, you can also watch a behind-the-scenes video on the company's page, showing the assembly of the set evoking Rossini's Italy.
Special Offers to the Ballet
The San Francisco Ballet is using its Facebook Page to notify fans that the company will be on tour in China this summer. Even while the company is out of town, you can still receive updates about ample local opportunities to attend student performances that showcase the company's rising talents.
Check out offers on special ticket prices for fans of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City and be sure to leave feedback on recent performances you've attended.
Meanwhile, the Australian Ballet reminds you that June is Nutcracker Season in Sydney — the perfect excuse to lose yourselves in swirling snow and colorful marzipan.
You can also RSVP for your favorite performances directly from the theater company's Facebook Page to let your friends know that you're planning to attend. So if you're booking tickets for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Richmond, Va., you can share your plans with your friends. They may even be willing to help gather the perfect summertime picnic to enjoy under the stars.
Elizabeth, an associate on Facebook's Communications team, can't wait for the arts to come knocking on her News Feed this summer.