A play for our times – performed using technology of our times – awaits you online with the world premiere of “In-Zoom,” on The Old Globe website.
Created by Tony Award winner Bill Irwin, the 10-minute play features Irwin and Broadway veteran Christopher Fitzgerald as colleagues who convene a Zoom meeting to discuss their idea of posting Bible passages as inspiration and comfort during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Does anybody watch these things?” they wonder, as we voyeuristically watch them.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of what they wish to achieve there are plenty of chuckles as the duo, in their respective Zoom frames, adjust chairs, ponder the eternal question “eyeglasses on/eyeglasses off?” and straighten an ever-so-slightly crooked picture frame visible over the shoulder of one of the men.
It soon becomes apparent that technology is a not-to-be-ignored third party in this online conversation as images freeze and audio cuts in and out. It also dawns on Irwin that staring at a screen is not the same as looking another person directly in the eye. This leads to a thought-provoking experiment in which Irwin cajoles Fitzgerald into turning 90 degrees, so they are both in profile “facing” one another as viewed onscreen. “Just have faith we can see each other,” he says.
Taking matters further, Irwin cautiously reaches his hand forward and, by golly, it enters Fitzgerald’s frame! Startled, Irwin, quickly withdraws his arm and both men don protective gloves so they can repeat the exercise, this time with a satisfying fist bump. This and other uplifting moments ensue that offer perspective and solace as we all navigate a new reality.
The meeting ends. Your smile will remain.
The creative team for “In-Zoom” includes Leila Knox (production stage manager) and Kevin Anthenill (digital platform director). Also involved in the development of the piece: Jake Millgard, Kevin Hafso Koppman and Kyrsten Hafso Koppman.
“In-Zoom” can be viewed live online on Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. (PDT) on YouTube or on The Old Globe website. A recorded version of the performance will be available to stream on The Globe website through Saturday, May 16 only. Both the live performance and subsequent streaming of the play are free. Viewers are asked to consider making a donation to help support the theater in these extraordinary times.
by Lynne Friedmann