NEW YORK – The coronavirus hasn't stopped the world's smallest theater.
“Theatre for One,” where one audience member sees one short play performed by a single actor in a portable theater, has now gone online.
“The experience is unique to Theatre for One. And in that sense, I think it's still a venue and a space. It’s a space designed specifically for this interaction, now designed online,” said two-time Tony-winning scenic designer Christine Jones, who conceived and leads the project.
In response to both the COVID-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement, the company will feature microplays all written and directed by Black, indigenous and women of color.
A selection of the tiny plays will be performed every Thursday for a six-week run starting later this month, with each actor delivering up to 15 performances for a single audience member in the 90 minute window. It will be free to the public.
The company has embraced a custom online virtual platform designed by cutting-edge OpenEndedGroup and says it retains the one-on-one intimacy that made the physical shows so powerful. Audience members and actors will even be able to look into the other's eyes at the same time, something impossible for platforms like Zoom.
"It feels really unique in how every element of it is distilled and concentrated and thought through in how to heighten this experience with audience and performer," said co-Artistic Director Jenny Koons.
The custom designed digital platform will allow audience members and actors to interact more closely than on traditional online platforms. There will even be a virtual lobby where audience members can gather and chat before and after performances.