Does adversity make you creative? One of the surprisingly positive outcomes from a year-long lockdown has been people's resurgence in innovative projects and "art for art's sake." Our theatre company and online play was one such enterprise.
Rebcat Creations is a not-for-profit online theatre and storytelling company founded by my sister Rebecca who lives in Italy, and myself (Catherine) from the UK. Covid Restrictions on travel took away our yearly habit of visiting each other and so since we couldn’t meet, we decided to write a play about what happened to people behind the closed doors of Lockdown. We intended to produce and stage a physical play, yet as the summer of 2020 wore on, we realised that online was our only option.
Our first job was to edit the script of The Truth Serum down to under an hour. Our second was to find our cast, technical crew, musician and audience. The final test was whether the Internet would hold up for all of us. Nobody's Internet crashed; none of the actors forgot their lines; none of the audience left us as we beamed our live drama into people's homes across the globe. We were all in our little computer boxes, and we all felt an unexpected sense of intimacy and inclusion. We didn't know if the audience laughed or cried during the show, yet the live discussion with the audience after the performance proved that they did both. They also gave us encouraging feedback.
We wrote The New Normal sequel due to popular demand and have integrated all the feedback and the learning into this second production. We have taken our technical game to the next level and added even more emotional depth to each scene. We knew that an hour is the right length of time to maintain audience engagement online. We knew that crowding the screen with too many actors is disorienting, so there are two leading voices in most scenes.
The New Normal is about psychological crises, loss, acceptance and re-birth. Each character needs to find their way through abnormal times. Some of the cast and crew have experienced the very same emotions as their characters in the play. The play offers a mixture of drama, conflict, humour and hope.
We ask our audience to join us for a live discussion at the end. Did you love it, hate it or resonate with one of the characters? Would you have preferred a different ending? You can share all this in the chat or ask a question to the cast and crew.
We believe that online theatre is here to stay and evolve. It is a different storytelling medium. It is accessible for people who might not be able to enjoy live plays due to mobility restrictions. It is inclusive, experimental and intimate. What is there not to love?
Profits from the show are donated to Marie Curie. The show goes live on 20/21st March @ 7pm GMT.
You can find out more here: www.rebcatcreations.com
Director of The New Normal