Recommendations for virtually disseminated works

Performances recommended by…

We Quit Theatre

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

Jess Dobkin and Moe Angelos

For years Suzan-Lori Parks did a performance piece in the lobby of the Public Theater in New York called Watch Me Work that she has taken online in the pandemic, now meeting on Zoom and presented by the Public and HowlRound. For the first 20 minutes she hosts a work session where everyone writes and works on their own thing and then for the last 40 minutes of the performance SLP will answer any questions that people bring regarding their own creative process and practice.

Dawn J Birley

Puff has a huge fan-base and is adored as a superhero by Deaf and hearing kids alike. Puff is a lovely and colourful character who talks about differences, diversity and acceptance. Through the lens of intersectionality, Puff teaches kids what it means to be Deaf in a positive light with lessons in deafness, sign language, culture and Deaf identity. Puff was originally created for the theatre but with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was adapted into “I am Puff” series for online dissemination with the support of CCA Digital Originals. It was made possible by an amazing all-Deaf team; Pavel Sakharov (animator); Marianne Aro (director and co-writer); Martin Aro (videographer); and Dawn Jani Birley (Puff and co-writer).

Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah

Christine Brubaker

Good Things to Do – One of the first online performances I took in by Rumble Theatre in Vancouver. I loved the meditative journey the piece took me on and was so delighted at the participation asked of us as an audience – but truthfully my favourite part was the cross-stitch jpg personalized and gifted to us at the end. Though digital it felt very very material.

Jack Was Kind performed and written by Tracey Thorne for All for One Theater. A heart-wrenching live performance by a woman from her home office. She confesses to her complacency in the face of tragedy. What made it remarkable, besides her stunning performance, is that it could have easily been recorded, but they chose to deliver it live. It was a gift to the audience, only fully realized when technical difficulties arose and the actor looked at us through the camera and said: “Oops, i’m going to start this part again….”. I was mesmerized.

Erin Brubacher

In this time of “life on Zoom,” I’ve so often found that people have forgotten that sometimes the telephone is actually the technology that works best. Part One of A Thousand Ways is a performance entirely on the telephone, between two audience callers, facilitated by a computer generated voice. I had a beautiful remote experience, totally dependant on the alchemy of me and this other person.

A lovely thing. Theatre makers can glean something from this kind of digital storytelling when trying to cross forms. (View only on phone.) 

An incredible line-up of artists in theatre that remains theatre, and works on TV. 

A one to one performance with endless possibilities.

She’s a visual artist who works kind of in old school animation — cutouts and shadow play — she creates entire worlds and performs. She literally was able to do the whole thing from her living room in LA.

Maiko Bae Yamamoto

  • 805-4821, a performance on Google Docs by We Quit Theatre

I was sitting there and at the appointed time I clicked on to the Google Doc, and it was just a Google Doc. A blank Google Doc, and I was there and I thought I would do my tax receipts. So sitting there with a little glass of wine and suddenly the text just started appearing on the page. “Hi. We are Davis Plett and Gislina Patterson, from We Quit Theatre. We’re here, we’re going to be starting soon”. They found a really smart way to do it, it wasn’t watching someone typing, because I think that would be very annoying. They were cutting and pasting from something. And so it came in large chunks and the speed of it was such that it kept me engaged because I had to actually pay attention to my reading. I couldn’t look away because it was moving quite quickly. They had beta tested what speed and how much text to put in. I couldn’t do my receipts. I actually threw them to the side. Because I became very interested in what was happening in the document; they had done things like put in gifs, putting in a link to a YouTube video that you had to click. And you’d pop over to YouTube and then in the video there would be texts that would mirror what was happening in the doc. And at the end, it would say something like: let this video play out but pop back on to your Google Doc. So you keep the tab open for the YouTube, pop back onto the Google Doc, and there’d be a soundscape running like ocean waves. And it would underscore the next part of the Google Doc. So super smart. I mean, it’s very simple. But it was so inspiring and I really felt like I had a whole sense of the piece. It didn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.

I thought, you know, it’s so hard to watch some things these days. I’m not going to enjoy this. But then Tim Etchell’s face came on, he was sleepy breathing a little bit. He was having trouble with his Zoom interface and getting his screen all matched up and it was so charming and lovely. It was really beautiful. It was all about how he’s a collector. About how people collect things, and the thing that he collects is language. So he was unpacking that and it was really mesmerizing and comforting.

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