Virtual live theatre
The Warren Miller Performing Arts Center has done so many amazing things to bring a heart and soul to our community. I cannot thank them enough for that.
How do we come to experience such amazing beautiful art in the middle of this small town amongst these beautiful mountains in Montana? How did we find home here? What is home? As an outsider 16 years ago I came in not knowing what to expect, not knowing how much I would grow to love this beautiful little town. WMPAC has been a staple of the place I now call home. Through this pandemic I was worried we would not see any other art. John Zirkle and WMPAC have proved me wrong. Thank God!
I wasn't sure how this virtual/ live theater was going to play out. It worked out beautifully. They had about 150 people live stream the show from their homes. They had limited seating in the theater so people were socially distant, people were required to wear masks, they did check for temperature before we went in and then for the performance they had the big large screen in the back and two large screens up in front where people from New York were brought in virtually onto the screen live.
The first performer Ari Afsar was singing and telling her story about being an Asian and her parents moving to America to give her a better life, then her being told to always just keep her head down. With the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis she finally decides that she cannot keep her head down anymore, that she is an American and she needs to stand up for what is right.
The second performance was by a gay black man Korde Arrington Tuttle exploring his place in life and if the body he was born into predisposed him to physical violence. He had a performer doing interpretive dance throughout his piece that was beautiful and really added to the performance.
The third performance was by Rodrigo Nogueira. He was virtually piped in live from New York, seen on the screen but interacting with the audience and to live members on stage. His performance was titled "You are not in Montana". Him virtually and the two women physically on stage argued. "You are not here in Montana". He said I can see and hear you, you can see and hear me, I can see the audience and they can see me "I am in Montana."
Was he in Montana? I feel a huge part of him was.
In Jamie Zeppa’s book "Beyond the Earth and Sky" she talks about the difference between coming and arriving. You can physically go somewhere yet until your thoughts, feelings emotion and heart are immersed in the environment, land, people and the culture you have never truly arrived.
I feel Rodrigo was there with us that night.
It was such an emotional night, with so many things unknown, so many things new. I was unable to mingle and chat with people and get any comments or feedback but I did hear people talking about how it was one of the most amazing performances they have seen. For me, as I'm trying to write this, I'm in tears. Thank you WMPAC for the brilliant performance you allowed our minds and our hearts to feel and experience. These are important stories. Especially now.
You can still pay to stream the show after the event. You can stream the next performances to watch at home. Check into www.wmpac.live
My favorite quote from the performance was when Rodriguez said, "Reality is not what it used to be." And he is so right. Reality is not what it used to be.