Theatre UNB’s production of TomorrowLove by Rosamund Small will be live-streamed beginning March 31.
“When things return to normal, I think we’ll all be happy to go back to live shows with live audiences,” said Len Falkenstein, UNB’s Director of Drama. Under his guidance, Theatre UNB has been a fixture on the city’s theatre scene for many years, producing annual shows at Memorial Hall and keeping the capital region topped up with new and emerging theatre talent. For obvious reasons, the program’s 2020-2021 season of public performances were unlike those of any other season. With no live, in-person audiences, each of this year’s performances were delivered as live-streamed events.
“It was certainly new and different, with both joys and rewards and trials and tribulations,” said Falkenstein. “I feel like we learned more with each production and got better with each one, learning what worked best for camera angles and the difference between what the camera sees and what the human eye sees.
“It’s possible we’ll continue to do some hybrid performances, with a live audience but also streamed, as the best thing about digital performances is it allows people who can’t physically be in the theatre, or are other places geographically, access to the show,” he said. “Certainly digital opens up some interesting doors artistically and allows for new forms of expression that we may well continue to explore in some form or another. But I’m old school and think liveness is essential to theatre. And there’s just no replacing a live audience.”
Following two earlier live-streamed productions that saw Theatre UNB experimenting not only with the use of digital technology but also the type of work being presented – December’s Duels and Duets featured three performances of nine short plays and February’s repertory series featured two plays running over a two week period – this year’s season of public performances will wrap up with 15 plays (yes, 15 plays!) performed in a cycle.
All 15 of these plays are part of TomorrowLove by Canadian playwright Rosamund Small.
“TomorrowLove is simply a fantastic play,” said Falkenstein, who will also direct many of the performances. “It’s epic, thought-provoking, and very entertaining.”
Each play in the series is set in a not-too-distant future and explores how technology could play a role in future relationships.
“The plays in the collection range from hilarious comedy, to melancholy, to dark and disturbing,” said Falkenstein. “The plays’ incorporation of science fiction elements is extremely well crafted and intended to pose questions and provide experiences that are profound and moving. And they are all very relatable—ultimately, each play is about love and the tenuousness of affairs of the heart—and I think we’ve all been there and know what that’s like.”
The 15 plays will be divided up over two three-evening runs, the first happening March 31 – April 2 and the second April 6-9. Each performance will be available as a live stream. After the live performances close, there will be two additional nights of viewing available with a special ticket purchase.
“On April 10 and 11, we will be selling tickets each day for a choose-your-own-adventure performance,” said Falkenstein. “For twelve hours on each day, audiences will be able to access recordings of all fifteen plays, recorded from the live performances, so they can watch as many as they want and in whatever order they want. This will allow those who want to watch more than a single night to be able to access all the shows, or go on their own TomorrowLove binge watching marathon!”
Keep your eyes on Theatre UNB’s Facebook page for ticket details.
Photo Credit: TomorrowLove (2016). Mayko Nguyen, Anand Rajaram. Photo by Neil Silcox. outsidethemarch.ca