Greenfield MA – Silverthorne Theater is proud to present the World Premiere of the unique, written-for-Zoom play, THE WAITING ROOM, by Steve Wangh. During each of the six live online performances, audience members will have chances to interact with the actors. The shows are scheduled for March 26, 27, April 2, and 3 at 7:30 pm and March 28 and April 4 at 3 pm. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com and on the theater web page at https://silverthornetheater.org/special-events.
THE WAITING ROOM is set in two worlds. On one level, it takes place in the Bardo – a liminal reality between one life and the next, where souls gather to await their next earthly assignment. On another level, it occurs on the Zoom platform, in which actors and audience members exist in separate “rooms” but share the fiction of being together. It will be performed by a diverse cast of Western MA actors under playwright Wangh’s direction in conjunction with veteran STC director Chris Rohmann.
Silverthorne’s production of THE WAITING ROOM continues its mission of engaging with artists bringing new work to the stage. In this case, the piece is ideally suited to current performance conditions. “At the time we started work on the play, live performance venues were still shuttered,” said STC producer Lucinda Kidder. “The Waiting Room enables live audience participation in a truly unique theatrical experience from any location!” The Company has launched several successful online performances throughout 2020, and it recognizes that it may be some time before patrons will feel comfortable returning to live productions.
THE WAITING ROOM reflects contemporary society in whimsical but often unsettling ways. Characters speak as the person they were when last on earth, but they may inhabit a body differently gendered or of different ethnicity or race. They enter and exit their Zoom rooms as they are called to be born in a new body. In the course of the play, actors and audience members meet up in Breakout Rooms for conversation and questions.
In its examination of the cycle of life and death, the play proposes a different take on mortality that will spark reflection and discussion among all ages and persuasions of theater lovers. It wipes away all personal and societal divisions to affirm the very essence of what it means to be a human as each new arrival departs to be born once more with a clean slate. Such a premise prompts the most basic of existential questions- as well as humorous reactions to the mixed bag of reassignments.
Residing in Brattleboro, Steve Wangh has been a playwright, director and teacher of acting throughout his highly successful career. He was associate writer for Emmy-nominated The Laramie Project, and penned the influential acting text, An Acrobat of the Heart, detailing the training methods of Jerzy Growtowski. He maintains his connections with New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing as professor emeritus. He is the author of fifteen plays and was dramaturg for Moisés Kaufman’s Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde.
The cast includes Kyle Boatwright (Amherst), Jen Campbell (Holyoke), Mark Dean (Northampton), Michael Garcia (Bondsville) and Kevin Tracy (Holyoke). Ethelyn Friend (New York) plays the unseen Stationmaster who oversees the Bardo. The technical director is John Iverson (Bernardston), assisted by Maggie Donovan (Mt Holyoke College).