A Fate Worse Than Death - March 19 - March 28, 2021

The Messy Theater Co.

  Director's Note  

Thank you for joining us for today's performance of A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH!
AFWTD started as a crazy idea that I had after watching too many bad zoom productions. I asked myself why I hated zoom theater so much, and this is what I came up with* (little did I know at the time that these would become my MFA research premise):
1) You can't hear or see the audience.
Any actor will tell you how vital an audience is to a performance and to their energy.
2) The audience knows they can't be seen or heard.
So why put on pants? Why not multitask?
3) Greenscreens and bad backgrounds...
We know it's on zoom but somehow it is more distracting to have fake backgrounds.
4) Is it even still theater if it's been prerecorded and edited? 
5) All of the shows written and performed during this time were about zoom or the pandemic.
It's too soon, right? 
6) Most shows suffered because it was not meant to be performed on zoom. These shows felt like something was missing; a vital element had been removed by not been performed in-person.
So I set out to create a show that solved all of these problems: It needed to be high stakes enough that the audience was actually invested and also interactive enough that the audience could be heard.  It needed to be performed live and work within the confines of zoom but not be about zoom or the pandemic. And most importantly, it needed to feel like it was built for online viewing, as opposed to suffering because it wasn't in person.
After almost 9 months of conceptualizing, devising, revising, and collaborating - here we are!
This performance is a beta test of a new kind of interactive theatrical experience. It's a thesis project and an experiment, and most importantly - a piece of art that allowed two dozen artists and creatives the opportunity to make something exciting and different during a crazy time. 
Finally, I want to thank the brilliant cast and creative team. This production is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work and collaboration from the artists listed within this program. I cannot thank them enough for their brilliance, patience, and spirit through the experimentation and rehearsal processes. "What we build together will always be better than what we could have made alone."
*These statements are not meant to disparage other artists and institutions. We have all dealt with the strains and limitations of social isolation differently and the innovative and creative work of all theater artists during this time should be celebrated! These were simply the elements of online theater that I wanted to focus a thesis on.
Founded in 2020, The Messy Theater Co. is a theatrical production company that embraces the chaos and craziness that is artistic exploration, in the hope of creating a better tomorrow. Real life is rather untidy, conversations can be cluttered and complicated, and art is inherently... well, messy. In the spirit of not being afraid of to get our hands dirty, The Messy Theater Co. is committed to the reimagination of classics, the staging of new works, theater for education, and creating living theater of the moment. Fostering brave spaces for the exploration of difficult topics and civic dialogue is the cornerstone of all that we do. We are dedicated to the equitable and inclusive creation of plays, musicals, and interactive theatrical experiences. Our work is grounded in collaboration, experimentation, and the celebration of every artist's individual strengths. We hope that you will join us and, in the words of The Magic School Bus, "Take Chances. Make Mistakes. Get Messy!"

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