“You’re on Mute” Experiments With Zoom Theatre

Could Zoom content be on the rise? Only time will tell.

With audiences unable to go out to the theatre, the theatre is instead coming to the audiences.

“You’re On Mute” is a new experimental theatre piece meant to be consumed via Zoom, put on by Eastern New Mexico University’s Department of Theatre & Digital Filmmaking. The show was directed by theatre instructor Ricky Quintana, and explores themes directly related to the COVID-19 epidemic such as isolation and income insecurity, which were developed from the input of the student players.

The cast consisted of Ariana Gasparlin, Lara Harkness, Kieran Verduzco, Mason Warner, and professor Dr. Anne Beck. Each was featured in their own monologues, informed by the actor’s personal experiences during quarantine. The tone of the scenes were widely varied, ranging from discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement, to minutes long 80’s Zumba classes.

“You’re On Mute” is a devised play, meaning that none of its content existed before this semester and was cooperatively developed by the players and director over the course of the production. Harkness, an actress on the project, explained that each of the players were in charge of their own select parts which would then be brought together as a cohesive whole.

While “You’re On Mute” has ended its run this semester after its final showing on Sunday night, the possibility of greater Zoom based content could be on the horizon as the upcoming semester is likely to also be online only.

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