Guild Hall in East Hampton will present a sneak peek of Exquisite Corpse Company’s (ECC) Zoetrope, an interactive, immersive, and mobile living diorama, on Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24.
ECC writers-in-residence Leah Barker, Emily Krause, and Elinor T Vanderburg penned Zoetrope, which is produced by Liz Frost, and co-directed by Porcia Lewis and Guild Hall Artist in Residence (2019) alumni and ECC’s Artistic Director Tess Howsam.
“As a byproduct of trying to figure a way to produce safe live theater that is also interactive for the audience, Tess designed an outline for the way that the scripts could be built with the audience choosing which scenes are played out,” Frost said. “This is important both to the audience interaction of the show as well as to ECC’s mission of exquisite corpse and collective assembly. In taking the structure of the script that Tess created and also recognizing that 2020 was a traumatic year in many ways, and Tess wanted to give people a small amount of agency.”
As live, in person theater came to a grinding halt in 2020, Howsam set out to find creative fixes to the questions: “How could ECC generate its own space?” And “How can ECC create a live interactive immersive experience that keeps audience members and artists safe during a pandemic?”
“In the spring of 2020, we produced two online festivals, Site-Specific 2020 and Site-Specific Rebirth,” Howsam noted. “These events were interactive, with a drinking game attached to the show themes, but we also relied on technology to connect with our community. Zoetrope is the solution to putting our audience and actors back in the same space while keeping both safe.”
Set in a New York City apartment, throughout the 35-minute performance two thespians will act out a living room drama guided largely by the audience’s suggestions.
Following the Guild Hall debut, the mobile production will head to the streets of Brooklyn and further in the summer of 2021.
Zoetrope will take place on Friday, April 23 at 5:00 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 8:45 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. There will be socially distanced seating for each show.
Tickets are $50 per 2-person box and $30 per 1-person box and space is limited to no more than six audience members per performance.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.guildhall.org.