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19 COVID Thoughts #11

Some thoughts on all the empty spaces.

"I can take any empty, sanitised and well ventilated space and call it a bare stage. A person who has been tested earlier that week and temperature checked pre-show walks across this empty, sanitised and well ventilated space whilst someone else who has been temperature checked before entering is watching from at least 2 meters away, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged." (not) Peter Brook

COVID has radically changed how audience's gather to witness and engage in stories and culture. Our bodies have been reclassified as vectors. It has distanced us; affected intimacy and how we relate to others. We are hyper-aware of people, keeping them at a two meter social distance. Structural prejudices have come to the surface. At the same time we have witnessed a re-exploration of the local and community. There has been a societal reordering with the identification of essential and front line workers. It has simultaneously created and destroyed interactions with art and culture. We see things differently now. They have been made strange.

What will it do to the ability of people to lose themselves, to get inside the skin of a character in order to feel what they’re feeling? How will comedy be watched without the trickle through laughter, will peoples hearts beat in sync, will the performers receive the same energy from a fractured audience?

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