Social distancing festival allows self-isolation without feeling isolated

Virtual theatre showcases artists from around the world

The Social Distancing Festival
Tadhi Alawi performs in his short dance flim “Body vs Mouth” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Courtesy Tadhi Alawi

Nick Green created a festival when the coronavirus took away his live audience. 

As the coronavirus scare spread, Green, the playwright who co-wrote In Real Life with Kevin Wong, learned his musical, years in the making, would be cancelled. 

The idea of “a platform where artists can stay engaged in the creative process by having a place that they can post and represent their work” was created by Green. 

He reached out to artists from all over the world who submitted their work, to be showcased in The Social Distancing Festival.

With the help of many volunteers, the website has set dates for various performers to host live streams that people can attend and watch. 

It allows artists to create content virtually and enjoy it as well. 

One of them is Fatuma Adar, a writer who had to postpone her musical, Dixon Road, set to be in the Intersections Festival at the end of April. The Social Distancing Festival lets her showcase snippets of her work. 

Fatuma Adar presents an excerpt from her musical Dixon Road.

This festival isn’t a means of replacing what live performances and theatre do, Adar says, but it “allows us to sort of put in perspective that when this time passes, we will all unite together again.”  

The Social Distancing Festival is a place to unite when many people are feeling scared and alone, she says. “The incredible thing about this festival is that we are trying to self isolate but not feel isolated.”

During this difficult time, the accessibility of theatre has been shown through this festival.

“Hopefully it will be something that lingers on, so folks who require digital communication can engage with theatre,” Adar says.

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Posted: Mar 24 2020 9:15 pm
Filed under: News