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Solo Plays for Solo Audiences: Finding Human Connection through the Pandemic

(NYC Trend) Let’s kick back to the pre-pandemic times. For many of us, our days were full from sunup until sundown. We would thoughtfully craft the daily schedule, fine-tuning and micro-managing, every 15 minute block accounted for. And at the end of it all, many of us found ourselves scraping for just a bit of quiet me time. Fast forward to mid-pandemic — Most of us are hoping for structure, a bit of normalcy and, let’s not forget, financial stability. But, the thing that I think we all long for the most is real human connection — a hug, a smile not hidden behind a mask, a good story, and in-person quality time with your friends and family.

While we wait for these things to be safe again, it’s important to seek out those true moments of human connection, even if it is a virtual experience! One theatre company that has risen above all the challenges of the pandemic and offers such a connection is Theatre for One, which offers a virtual theatrical experience, where one performer is paired up with one audience member. This fall, Theatre for One is hosting a series called Here We Are, which features 8 micro-plays, all speaking to the pandemic; the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Black Lives Matter, We See You W.A.T. and other movements fighting racism. AND all the micro-plays are performed, written, directed and designed by BIPOC women.

Theatre for One: Here We Are was originally scheduled to run until September 24th, but due to popular demand has been extended to October 29th.

A Little Bit About Theatre for One

Theatre for One was created in 2010 by artistic director Christine Jones and is designed by LOT-EK architects. The company is a mobile performance space dedicated to creating intimate theatrical experiences involving one actor to one spectator. While they normally present works in public spaces, Theatre for One is embracing the challenges of the pandemic and proving their own mission that intimacy and human connection can be created anywhere, at any time, and with anyone — even strangers. They believe that the “actor and audience member encounter each other as strangers in this suspended space and through the course of the performance allow the divisions and distinctions that separate us to dissolve.”

Here We Are is commissioned by Arts Brookfield with support from Thomas M. Neff.

The Full Lineup

  • Patrice Bell in Stacey Rose’s Thank You For Coming, Take Care.
  • Eisa Davis in Lynn Nottage’s What Are The Things I Need To Remember
  • Zuleyma Guevarain Carmelita Tropicana’s Pandemic Fight
  • Russell G. Jones in Nikkole Salter’s Here We Are
  • Mahira Kakkar in Jaclyn Backhaus’s Thank You Letter
  • Shyla Lefner in DeLanna Studi’s Before America Was America
  • Nikkole Salter in Lydia R. Diamond’s whiterly negotiations.
  • Regina Taylorin her own Vote! (the black album)

How to Attend the Performances

Performances of Theatre For One: Here We Are are every Thursday 6pm to 7:30pm EDT. Each performance lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. In order to sign up to be a spectator, advanced registration is required with reservations opening on Monday mornings. 

All performances are completely virtual. As an audience member, you will need a computer with a functioning webcam. Google Chrome is highly recommended. Find a quiet room and wear headphones if you have them, and, as if you were in an actual theatre, please be sure to silence your phone.

Content rating ranges between PG and R, based on language and content.

Audience Etiquette

Once you’ve signed up for your slot and have settled in with your computer, it’s show time! At this point, remember to be a present and attentive audience member. Your only task is to listen and connect with the performer —and, most of all, enjoy that connection that we have so missed!

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