Stage East’s latest project, ‘Life in Washington County‘, an all-digital collaboration directed and produced by Mark Macey, has attracted a group of more than 30 participants. With an online opening planned for next month, the piece will consist of a series of videos, each containing contributions from four people: a writer, an actor, a musician and a visual artist or dancer. All told, 14 writers, 11 actors, 11 musicians and 9 visual artists/dancers are participating, with some people in multiple groups; one participant—Manuela Brice—is contributing in all four categories.
The process began with writers submitting pdfs of their work; these pieces were passed to the actors, who recorded videos of themselves performing the scripts. Next, scores for the actors’ work were prepared by the musical contributors, who each also provided a video track. At this writing, with scores coming in, Macey is poised to send out the final assignments to the visual artists and dancers, who’ll cap off the project with a third video layer. Macey will then edit each piece as a triptych, with actor, sound artist and visual/dance artist videos side by side.
“It’s been exciting to see the community interpret each other’s work,” said Macey. “It’s an intricate process, but the final product is going to be a real accomplishment. It will put Washington County on the “digital map” so to speak.”
Community members seized on the chance to participate with the group project, for lack of any other avenues to create theater, but as Macey noted, “This project has highlighted how lonely it can be to work with a group online. I think there’s a way to navigate that. I want this project to live on beyond this moment, so I’ll be talking with the group about how our digital presence can be more than just going to a site and hitting play on videos. How can this project create a conversation? Are there other iterations? What about when life becomes a bit more “normal”? How do we integrate this digital project into the real world? Can ‘Life in Washington County’ be more than just this one instance?
Please stay tuned for ‘Life in Washington County’, and contact Mark at email@example.com with questions and feedback.