TheatreMcLean hits the screen

McLean’s fall plays will be virtual this year

Virtual+Rehearsals+%E2%80%94+Seniors+Chloe+Lahr+and+Ben+Cudmore+rehearse+for+Neighborhood+3%3A+Requisition+of+Doom+using+special+software.+Both+of+TheatreMcLean%E2%80%99s+fall+plays+will+premiere+in+November.

Phillip Reid

Virtual Rehearsals — Seniors Chloe Lahr and Ben Cudmore rehearse for Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom using special software. Both of TheatreMcLean’s fall plays will premiere in November.

With innovative virtual plays coming to computer screens this November, TheatreMcLean perfectly encapsulates the idea of theater constantly evolving.
They will be performing two shows—Cards of Fate and Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.
“We are going to continue doing shows, but it’s going to be done in the virtual landscape,” TheatreMcLean director Phillip Reid said. “We will have fall productions like we would normally do, except instead of being on stage, they’ll be through Google Meets or [Blackboard Collaborate], and then broadcast on YouTube Live or Facebook Live.”
The first play, Cards of Fate, will be pre-recorded. It will be available to watch on Nov. 19. Cards of Fate is a dark comedy about a game show that progressively has more and more sinister situations. In this production the main character is a girl named Nick.
“She’s on this game show, and if you win, you get a lot of cool prizes and something good happens to someone out in the universe,” Reid said. “If you get the question wrong, you don’t get any prizes and something bad happens to them.”
Cards of Fate may not be appropriate for younger audiences.
“It gets spooky, man,” said junior Erin Sharpe, who plays Cinnamon, the game show host. “We’re talking about what people would do to win and where we draw the line and playing off of how artificial some people can be through the camera.”

Theater adapts. It is alive. It’s always changing. The best way for theater to stay alive is for audience members to come see these shows to encourage actors to keep going, keep pressing on, because we’re there to perform for them.”

— Senior Ben Cudmore

The second play, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, will be performed live and aired virtually on Nov. 20. It’s about a new video game teenagers are playing that resembles their neighborhood, where they have to kill zombies that look an awful lot like their parents.
“It’s a commentary on virtual reality and how parents and children [grow] more and more apart as technology kind of divides us a little bit,” said senior Ben Cudmore, who is playing one of the lead roles. “As things progress between the virtual reality and our actual reality, it becomes almost unfamiliar which one is real.”
Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom also deals with themes that may be too mature for some viewers.
Although the delivery of the play will be completely unprecedented for TheatreMcLean, the actors will all be performing off book, in full costume, just as they would in person.
“Theater adapts. It is alive. It’s always changing,” Cudmore said. “The best way for theater to stay alive is for audience members to come see these shows to encourage actors to keep going, keep pressing on, because we’re there to perform for them.”