News: "In These Uncertain Times," a Play Devised Specifically for Zoom, Premieres July 25-August 2 [UPDATED]

Samantha Shay. Photo by Katia Temkin
UPDATE [6/9/2020]: Source Material has postponed the premiere to July 25-August 2 in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Performances which were originally scheduled for Saturday, June 13, Sunday, June 14, Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21 will now take place on Saturday, July 25 at 7pm EST/4pm PST, Sunday, July 26 at 2pm EST/11am PST, Saturday, August 1 at 7pm EST/4pm PST, and Sunday, August 2 at 2pm EST/11am PST.

Source Material will present the world premiere of In These Uncertain Times, a digital performance piece devised by the company and directed by Artistic Director, Samantha Shay, created for and presented on Zoom. Performances will be on Saturday, June 13 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PST, Sunday, June 14 at 2pm EST/11am PST, Saturday, June 20 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PST, and Sunday, June 21 at 2pm EST/11am PST. Admission is a sliding scale donation of $10-$25. No one will be turned away due to a lack of funds. Tickets are available for advance purchase here. The performance will run approximately 60 minutes, with no intermission.

In These Uncertain Times is a digitally-devised performance piece, made specifically for its medium. It is a new dramaturgy defined by dystopia, and it is a love letter to the art of theater. Stemming from a group of artists wondering if COVID-19 is the death of theater as we know it, In These Uncertain Times is a tragicomic, Chekhovian Zoom performance. From drinking competitions, sad Chekhov monologues, and corona-virus meme collages, In These Uncertain Times’ focal point is the impossibility of theater as we’ve known it, and it forges a new path in the art form while grieving for the past.

“This project started as a way for the company to feel connected to one another during this time,” said director Samantha Shay. “As it organically evolved, I started to realize our performance digs beneath that ice thin surface of grief, and vacillates between humor, sorrow, and heart-broken open love letters to the art of theatre and back again. In These Uncertain Times isn’t making work in spite of this moment, but in a direct response that I hope carries a deeper meaning and value that lives in this time, and beyond it. This process has kept my mental health steadier, and even more so, it has helped me touch the deep magma core of why I love theater, why I miss theater, and in some ways, I think this is a love letter to our community. I don’t claim it to be a theater piece, I think the jury is out on what theater is, was, and shall be in the coming days, months, and years, however, In These Uncertain Times is responsive, and insightful. I am excited to share it.”

The cast will feature James Cowan (Into the Fog with Source Material), Miles Hartfelder (Streetcar Named Desire with director James Franco), Annelise Lawson (Babes In The Woods at Signature Theatre), Stephanie Regina (The White Album at BAM; CasablancaBox at HERE), Raven Scott (Scorpion on CBS), Victoria Sendra (Ivo Van Hove's Network on Broadway), and Grace Tiso (Big Time Adolescence at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival).

Source Material is an evolving nomadic group of artists carrying diverse backgrounds and lineages in artistic practice. Founded in 2014 by Artistic Director Samantha Shay, Source Material began as a container for her desire to broaden the aesthetic horizons of performance. Source Material is an ever-evolving constellation of adventurous and thoughtful creators from many corners of the world.

Source Material’s theater work is anchored in reverence for the classical canon, often adapting literature-based performances with highly original staging. The work has been described as visually stunning, musically driven, physical, ritualistic, and interdisciplinary. Source Material has presented work at The Grotowski Institute, RedCat, and HERE Arts (NYC), and has toured to several US cities, Iceland, Sweden, and the UK. The company is based between the US (New York and Los Angeles) and Iceland (Reykjavik). 


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