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Review: "Zero Cost House (for Zoom)" Offers Thoreau-ly Entertaining Deconstruction

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Zero Cost House (for Zoom)Written by Toshiki OkadaTranslated by Aya OgawaAdapted and directed by Dan RothenbergPresented by Pig Iron Theatre Company via ZoomSeptember 18-25, 2020The extra-diegetic echo that Pig Iron Theatre Company's first digital presentation, Zero Cost House (for Zoom), includes a natural disaster interrupting development of a play represents precisely the kind of layered resonances that suffuse the play itself. Written by Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada and elegantly staged by Pig Iron, Zero Cost House, reimagined for virtual presentation after a live debut in 2012, playfully and thoughtfully troubles the boundaries of identity as well as the lines between artist and character, autobiography and fiction, and self-presentation and performance.

Divided into three chapters, with a short intermission, Zero Cost House ostensibly tells the story of Okada's attempt to adapt Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854), a vitally important book to his younger self, an …

News: "Ghost Hunt: The Hall-Mills Double Homicide," an Asynchronous Multi-City Theatrical Adventure, Has Begun

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Thinkery and Verse (Karen Alvarado and J.M. Meyer, co-artistic directors) and Butch Mermaid (Ania Upstill, artistic director) have annoucned their collaboration in the world premiere experiential production of Ghost Hunt: The Hall-Mills Double Homicide, based on their more traditional Hall-Mills stage-play, Thou Shalt Not, which was set to premiere this spring in New York City. Part podcast, part gaming (think Pokemon Go), part theatrical production, this unique experience is entirely Covid-19 safe (set in a NJ community which has lost over 1400 people to the illness) and uses a free gaming app called ‘GeoCaching,’ in which audiences will track, hunt, and discover hidden caches at locations tied to Hall-Mills murders.

Ghost Hunt is a geo-cached audio adventure that invites participants to experience the story of a tragic double homicide at the sites where the murders occurred and justice was lost. “This is an innovative, experimental, and experiential audio adventure,” says producing …

Review: "#txtshow (on the internet)" Virtually Makes Us All Playwrights

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#txtshow (on the internet)Created and performed by Brian FeldmanPresented by the 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival (September 10-October 4, 2020) and Rochester Fringe Festival (September 17-26, 2020) via ZoomTickets available at: Philadelphia Fringe; Rochester FringeWatching Brian Feldman's experimental, immersive, interactive #txtshow (on the internet) brought to mind the plot thread in Umberto Eco's novel Foucault's Pendulum in which the protagonists use a computer to generate randomized assemblages of texts to help them to create a fabricated history, which is then received as real. Here, the character txt (Feldman) speaks assemblages of spontaneously generated text(s) from the audience in order to create the reality of the show, which, strictly speaking, is also made up of everything else going on the viewer's screen at the same time. It's all very postmodern. It's all very fun.

Feldman's shows through the Philadelphia and Rochester Fringe Festivals are…

News: Socially Distanced Performance "Static Apnea (2020)" Begins Sept. 12

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the american vicarious in collaboration with The Invisible Dog Art Center will present the New York Premiere of Static Apnea (2020) a socially distanced performative installation beginning performances on September 12, 2020.

Conceived and directed by Founding Artistic Director, Christopher McElroen, Static Apnea (2020) features text by Julia Watt and is performed by Isabella Pinheiro and Jenny Tibbels. The design team includes Troy Hourie (Installation Designer), Zach Weeks (Lighting Designer) and Andy Evan Cohen (Sound Designer).The discipline of holding one’s breath underwater, motionless - static apnea. Breath has been taken away. By a virus. By a knee. By the uncertainty. The struggle to restore it has rendered us motionless, collectively holding our breath.

Do you know how long you can hold your breath? Would it be long enough to save yourself? Would it be long enough to save someone you love?

One audience member, surrounded by a tunnel of blue light, descends towards a single pe…

News: Artistic Stamp Launches Inaugural Season of Interactive Plays-By-Mail

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Presenting original work from six award-winning playwrights--Ben Bonnema (The Apple Boys) , November Christine, Matt Schatz (UNTITLED a New Musical Comedy about Serious Drama, The Burdens), Jahn Sood (The Disappearing Man, We Were an Island), Elyne Quan, and Natalie Ann Valentine--Artistic Stamp will produce a season of interactive experiences that take audience members on unique journeys via handwritten correspondence. The audience becomes a character in the story, reacting and replying to the letters received and playing a role in deciding the outcome. All of this takes place during a seven-letter narrative arc that plays out over the course of September to December. In a time when theatergoers can’t venture out, Artistic Stamp brings the plays home.“Almost overnight we experienced the disappearance of live theater; the art form to which we’ve devoted our entire professional lives,” said West Hyler (Cirque Du Soleil Paramour, Big Apple Circus) and Shelley Butler (A Doll’s House Par…

Review: Queer "Midsummer Night's Dream" Offers a Most Rare Vision

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A Midsummer Night's DreamWritten by William ShakespeareDirected by Brandon Walker and Erin CronicanPresented by The Seeing Place Theater via ZoomAugust 29-30, 2020 [UPDATE: extended on YouTube through 9/5; get streaming tickets here.]In her 2010 book The Promise of Happiness (Duke University Press), Sara Ahmed notes that "heterosexual happiness is overrepresented in public culture," so much so that it becomes "difficult to separate out narrative as such from the reproduction of happy heterosexuality" (p. 90). Queer reimaginings of canonical texts, such as The Seeing Place Theater's virtual reading of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, thus perform a vital role in constructing a robust counterdiscourse within our heteronormative culture. And in an echo of Shakespeare’s interplay between the real and the fantastic worlds in the play, The Seeing Place's entertaining and inventive Dream also donated all proceeds to benefit The Ali Forn…

News: the cell theatre Premieres "Tolerance Party" Live Online on Sept. 1

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Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre has announced the premiere of its first serialized online broadcast Tolerance Party: #1 "Ice Breakers,which will be available to stream via its website. Six strangers are brought together in a video chat by an unknown entity and are given a group task, but no one can agree on what it is. They've received written instructions--they think--and carry with them a belief in a larger purpose. How can these folks learn to co-exist inside a new world order that doesn’t obey the rules of time and space? 
This dark comedy written and directed by Joseph Hendel (Katzelmacher, USA) is a serialized plunge into the social politics of the xenosphere. Audiences are encouraged to participate in a live chat function that will help determine the fate of the characters in following episodes. The cast includes Corey Allen (Mindhunter, Manh(a)ttan) Bob Jaffe (Sweetbitter, Brotherhood, Memory Retrograde) Heather Mo’Witz, Richard Urquiza, India MeƱete, and …