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Actors aiming to smash through the Zoom barrier to create online theatre

Published:20 May 2020

Since audiences are not yet able to return to the CQCM Theatre, innovative online performances have been arranged.

Technical wizardry is being summoned to enable theatre students located hundreds of kilometres apart to create an inspiring online theatre experience.

“We are aiming for a seamless theatre experience with overlapping stories and multiple camera feeds, where worlds sometimes collide, but frankly we are building the plane while flying it so it’s going to be a great achievement,” says theatre lecturer Dr Linda Lorenza from CQUniversity’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) in Mackay.

Dr Lorenza says the dispersal of students back to their home towns, across Queensland, meant the CQCM's proposed Mystery of Edwin Drood musical production could not be staged as an assessment, as it required a proscenium arch stage.

“Instead, our theatre students have been devising their own online dramas in response to Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds and the current pandemic.

“Working with actor and film director Akos Armont, we will present a mini-season of these 'War in our World' dramas online, on three evenings from 17-19 June.

"You could say that, like a pandemic in our community, so begins the War in our World."

Dr Lorenza says her drama major students will also present a session of short radio plays, with some visual enhancements, on Friday 12 June.

“Preparing for the radio plays we studied the old recordings of Abbott and Costello and have had Zoom visits from ABC Radio National Fictions program presenter Fiona Pepper,” she says.

“The radio plays range from a haunted house mystery to the inner monologues of everyday characters living through the pandemic.”

More details about these performances will be available soon via https://www.facebook.com/cqunicon/ .