Theater in Quarantine is an online performance project dedicated to the exploration of the theatrical experience inside the digital space directed by Founder Joshua William Gelb and Katie Rose McLaughlin. Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic closed all theaters in mid-March, Gelb transformed a 2′ x 4′ x 8’ closet inside his East Village apartment into a white-box theater. Along with McLaughlin, they set out to understand how artists can adapt to the digital form without sacrificing the integrity of the live event, as well as navigating how we can continue to responsibly collaborate while social distancing.
Waters of Oblivion invites participants ruminate over what ties us to the past, present, and future. The work reminds us that life does not dematerialize, but instead, always transitions and transforms. Lead Artist Cinthia Chen reconsiders the nature of memory and loss in her own life and stirs in cultural anecdotes, neuroscience, and interviews with loved ones. Conceived as a multi-platform experience, Waters of Oblivion is an on-site/online hybrid experiential piece that draws inspiration from ancestral rites and reinvents grieving rituals for our contemporary moment.
Reimagining a seminal antihero of classic German literature as a closeted trans woman, Woyzeck & Herself is a queer adaptation of Georg Büchner’s classical text with book and music by trans theater artist Ada Westfall. Created specifically for a trans or non-binary performer in the lead role, the piece investigates the hyper-masculine nature of the military, “deviant” identity in a repressive environment, and the tragic madness often nurtured beneath layers of culturally reinforced shame.
Grapefruit acknowledges the body as a living archive. Responding to Yoko Ono’s performance text of the same name, this dance-theater score celebrates the perseverance of the human body. The piece dances across the limits of the aging body and explores the paths we take, the connections we miss, and the relationships we make that shape and re-shape our lives. Developed collaboratively over four years in the Middle-East and New York, the piece follows a predetermined plan…except when it doesn’t.
Interweaving family interviews and computer analyzed photogrammetry data from his childhood home, Michael Littig, in collaboration with Myles Sciotto build an audiovisual performance exploring the nature of “Home”. “That people could come into the world in a place they could not at first even name and had never known before; and that out of a nameless … call it HOME, and put roots there and love others there; so that whenever they left this place they would sing homesick songs about it and write poems yearning for it like a lover…” (Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space)
An interactive sculptural work conceptualized and created by visual artist Johannah Herr and technologist and performer, Justin Nestor. Interrogating the process of foreclosures, evictions, and the housing crisis in America, the work is built of earth from foreclosed properties in the US, a mirror-lined pastry display case, and packaging with pattern designs based on logos of Merril Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, US Department of Housing, US Department of Treasury, and the IRS.