Monday, March 15, 2021

The Lucid Wildflowers performance

Q&A What's the story? It's absurdist. There is no story. Who is in it? Laura Schlachtmeyer, Meredith Neuman, Annalisa Loeffler, and Ralph Boswell. Is it safe for kids? It is, but no child will want to sit through it. So, I just watch this on YouTube. Will I be able to see it later? Yes, and yes. It's a live YouTube event, but will be recorded for posterity. So this is some of that video theater that can be socially distant and safe? Exactly. Who made the puppets? Jeanne Bellware-Lewis. Wait, what are those puppets made out of? Polymer clay. Who wrote this absurd opera? The libretto was written by Andrew Bellware, Richard Byrne, Todd L. Johnson, and Laura Schlachtmeyer. The music was written by Andrew Bellware. What is the Hoboken MakerBar Symphony Orchestra? Saleem Banatwala. Conducted by Andrew Bellware. That seems awfully high-falutin' a name for what is essentially two people. And your question is? Um. Nevermind. What are the live instruments? Water bottle, 12-string electric guitar (untuned) played like a percussion instrument, a rotary saw, anvil, can of paint, theremin. How are you doing socially-distant theater? The two musicians are wearing masks and standing more than 2 meters from one another (at the Hoboken MakerBar in Hoboken, NJ). The stage manager/director is calling the show from home in Washington, DC. How many computers are required to make a socially-distant YouTube puppet opera? Five. One to play back the "backing tracks" of music, one to run Open Broadcasting Software in order to composite all the video layers and upload to YouTube, one for "intercom" on the Hoboken side, one as an "operator's" computer in Washington, DC, and another for Washington, DC intercom. Optionally is a sixth computer for confidence playback in Washington, DC but we've found that the 15-or-so second delay is really annoying when you're trying to run the show.

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