We had forty actors audition this year, in person, for our festival.
March 17, 2020, 1177 days ago, everything shut down. For a couple of months, there was no theatre, anywhere. Then, sometime in May, I think, everyone, everyone started doing Zoom readings of Shakespeare plays online with their friends for their friends. Everyone. Because they could. Because they refused to not do it. And there were no auditions, really, only friends.
In the fall, people started taking the Zoom thing seriously. Fully produced Zoom plays with memorized lines, maybe, because you couldn’t really tell, for paid tickets on YouTube. You saw your fellow actors when you picked up your green screens, web cameras, and microphones. And then went home and hid in your living for your Zoom performance. For fifteen people in their living rooms.
And then we all did a whole season of Zoom plays. We saw our fellow actors when we brought back the green screens, webcams, and microphones. Some auditions, on Zoom, not many, mostly the people you knew who were as bored as you were. Will you be in our Zoom play?
We had forty actors audition this year, in person.
By the next summer, 2021, 812 days ago now, some people met outside to do Shakespeare, at some social distance, outside, for real cameras that streamed our little performances into 23 homes at a time. We saw our fellow actors, outside only, at a little distance, for the time we were onstage or waiting in the wings. But we did it. Some auditions, on Zoom. Most people we knew.
And that fall, little by little, with a theatre full of cameras, microphones, mixing boards, and cables, we brought in a few friends as an audience, stepping over the cables, feeling like they couldn’t laugh because we were streaming into homes. And then, finally, we started acting with people on the stage for people in the audience. And one play at a time, we crawled back to some kind of normal.
We had forty actors audition this year. We couldn’t even use them all. Come see.