Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Virtual Theatre: The Race by Mark Binder: Wilbury Theatre Group Ends January 31

Yes, the pandemic has shut off traditional methods of producing theatre.  But there is always a way.  And sometimes that way actually expands the possibilities of your work.

My longtime friend (and accomplished storyteller and novelist) Mark Binder has a new play being produced by the Wilbury Theatre Group in Providence, RI.  The play is called The Race, and it uses the zoom platform effectively to simultaneously isolate and engage the audience.   

It's his first produced play in 20 years, It ends this weekend, it's gotten great reviews, and I urge you to see it. 

The Race by Mark Binder features Rodney Eric Lopez (left), Jim O'Brien (right) and Jennifer Mischley (unpictured)  The actors change roles nightly, which adds to the interest of this production.

In the play, two candidates (Mr. White and Mr. Black) are vying for a position.  One is white, and one is not (and during the course of the production, the actors change roles, so their name is NOT an indicator) As they are interviewed by an unseen third party (who may be a person, or an algorithm, or some strange amalgamation of the two) politics, race, bias, competition, complicity and computer mediation are all explored.  The questions are off-putting and relevant (and audience members can participate in the live chat and vote on some of the questions using Zoom's Poll feature)  And at the end of the show, the audience is invited for a talkback.

A behind the scenes look at The Race.  I recognize this desk as Mark's!  (photo by Mark Binder)

Because it's on Zoom, anyone in the world with $20 and a computer can see the show. (which expands the audience base.) And because it's DESIGNED to be consumed in the Video/streaming format, it suffers none of the typical issues that a play suffers when translated into video (poor lighting for video, bad camera angles, muffled sound, and a feeling of not being present in the room.)  

This is an interesting new way to look at theatre, and a well designed and enigmatic evening. The actors are great, the writing and directing are on point, and like all good theatre it raises as many questions as it answers.  Definitely see it if you can!

The Race by Mark Binder, directed by Brien Lang with original music by Nikita Zabinski, and features actors: Rodney Eric López, Jennifer Mischley and Jim O'Brien.

Three more shows available:   (click links to purchase tickets)

Friday, January 29, 2021  7:00 PM
Saturday, January 30, 2021 7:00 PM
Sunday, January 31, 2021  2:00 PM

To find out more about the show: visit https://www.thewilburygroup.org/the-race.html

Read some reviews of the show:





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