Live theatre takes a new form on the online stage

2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago Saturday, June 20 2020 Jun 20, 2020 Saturday, June 20, 2020 3:06:00 PM CDT June 20, 2020 in News
By: Isabella Ledonne, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of life, and the theatre stage is no exception. As many in-person performances are cancelled, theatre companies look to other outlets to still perform for the community. 

GreenHouse Theatre Project raised the curtain on a new way of theatrical performance, one that takes place over Zoom. Natural Shocks opened on Zoom this weekend with a performance Friday evening and a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. 

"I was thinking about what I could do as an artist because I was going kind of stir crazy in my house," Artistic Director and performer Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri said. "I was feeling just weary for the work that I do and the future of theatre in the midst of a pandemic."

While the performance wasn't in a traditional theatre, audience members still bought tickets to access the Zoom link. The event sold out on Friday, as the theatre company can only perform to a maximum of 100 people. 

The one-woman show features a woman, Angela, in her basement waiting out a tornado. Braaten Palmieri explained the play seemed perfect to do under the stay at home orders. 

"This show does well under this platform because it's so confessional based," she said. "I'm performing it from my basement and in the play, Angela is trapped in her basement."

Audiences watched the online performance from all across the country and five different countries. The Artistic Director explained that despite the challenges of the pandemic, theatre has been able to exist and expand in communities. 

"The fact that I've opened my audience to people across the country and across the world is everything to an artist and a performer," Braaten Palmieri said. "It's super exciting for me to open my work up to a larger audience."

After the show the theatre company hosted a talk-back with playwright Lauren Gunderson. At the talkback, GreenHouse accepted donations for Race Matters, Friends COMO to help fight racial injustice. 

To reserve tickets for next weekend's performance on June 25 and 26, you can visit the company's website here

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