Isolation Theatre is an innovative new theater company born from the COVID-19 pandemic. Founders Philip Todd and Hannah Kemper wanted to provide a creative solution to the shutdown of all live theatrical performances by creating a new art form: Virtual Live Theatre. By delivering plays over the Zoom platform, audiences can tune in from around the globe to enjoy a performance from the comfort of their homes.
During this quarantine, Zoom has become a household name. From school lessons to fitness classes, work meetings and birthday parties, Zoom has become an essential tool in our every day lives. Zoom has, in many ways, provided people with more options for connection, collaboration, and entertainment. For Isolation Theatre, Zoom closes the gap between audience and player and aids in making theatre more accessible for all.
So, how does a Zoom play actually work?
• You buy a ticket to Isolation Theatre’s Webinar Performance and receive your dial-in details.
• Before the show begins, you’ll enter the pre-show lounge and virtual bar space where you can connect and interact with fellow theatre goers.
• Right before the show begins, you’ll virtually move into the theatre space where you can sit back and enjoy the show!
Performances are scheduled at times which accommodate widely dispersed regions making it possible for people to tune in from around the world. Hannah Kemper saw the need for “… geographically dispersed social networks to get together when airline flights were out of the question. I could see the need for habitual theatregoers like myself to see live theatre when going to a show was out of the question, and I could see the need for actors to ply their trade.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic was the springboard for the creation of Isolation Theatre, the idea of Live Virtual Theatre is something that will prove to be invaluable way beyond the length of the quarantine.
Isolation Theatre’s debut performance of Sophocles’ Oedipus The King, is the perfect quarantine play. Greek tragedies themselves naturally fit into the Zoom setting as the action takes place off-stage and is reported by Messengers on stage. Oedipus The King is a timely choice as the play opens with a plague upon the population and their leader seeking a solution to the disease. Philip Todd says, “Oedipus Rex was first performed in 429BC, in the first year of the Athenian plague (430 – 426) which eventually killed 30% of their population. Setting the play in the king’s nightly conference call seems a natural choice.”
Theatre goers will be able to connect more intimately with the plight of Oedipus as his people look to him for answers and solution to the problem of the plague.
You can catch performances of Oedipus the King on June 27th at 6:00PM PST and June 28th at 12:00PM PST.
You can purchase tickets and learn more about Isolation Theatre and their upcoming Fall Season by visiting their website at www.IsolationTheatre.com
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