Stage East’s socially distant collaborative venture—the Life in Washington County project—which attracted more than 30 participants, including writers, actors, musicians, visual and performing artists—will finally draw its curtains next week with a June 12 opening date for the project’s planned ‘rolling premiere.’ Each week, two or more of the collaborative project videos—each of which combines contributions from four participants—will be shared on this site and via EAC’s YouTube channel. Director Mark Macey has chosen two pieces to start the viewing party next week: Gold ‘n’ Green Ball, featuring text by Melodie Greene, performance by Jenie M. Smith, music by Joan Lowden and visual art by Lauren Koss; and First Light, with text by Catherine Lee, performance by Mark Macey, music by Beth Goodliff and visual art by Fern Hilyard.

Joan Lowden (from left), Lauren Koss and Jenie M. Smith are brought together in the video, ‘Gold ‘n’ Green Ball,’ written by Melodie Greene, one of the pieces to be premiered June 12.

“It’s been exciting to take what everyone has done and create something cohesive. I’ve tried to honor everyone’s contributions and really highlight each piece’s strength,” said Macey, who conceived the project, guided the participants through the sometimes-challenging waters of digital collaboration, and who has been lovingly editing the resulting videos. “What I love about these is that they’re not at all like traditional video. This isn’t a passive viewing experience. Yes, there’s an editorial style that might guide your eye but ultimately it’s up to you. I think they require multiple viewings. I also love seeing the community side by side even while we can’t be side by side. It’s really warmed my heart to see the people I’ve felt far away from do what they do best and meet so many new people through this fun format. I can’t wait to share them all!” 

Coming up on June 19 will be Grackles, with text by Lora Whelan, performance by Kathleen Dunbar, music by John Newell and visual art by Joan Lowden; and Coming from Away, with text by Lilli Danaea, performance by Brian Schuth, music by Bill Johnson and visual art by Anne Shields Hopkins.

Read more about the project here.

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