Thursday, September 10, 2020

Reimagining Theatre in the World of COVID: An Immersive Journey to Wonderland in Theater Works' CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER

Lauren Hardcastle as The Queen of Hearts
Photo by Josiah Duka Photography

by Gil Benbrook, 
TalkinBroadway.com Phoenix Regional Reporter

After having been closed for close to six months due to the COVID pandemic, theatre heads have been trying to find the right way and the correct time to reopen and start shows up again, now that cases are decreasing in certain areas. But how do you reopen and bring live theatre back to life while also ensuring your audiences and cast members are safe?

Chris Hamby, Theater Works' Artistic Director, and a group of actors and designers have devised an original production that not only provides a new and different theatrical experience but also one that adheres to strict CDC and state safety guidelines. Curiouser and Curiouser, an immersive theatrical venture that brings the characters of Lewis Carroll's 1865 children's novel "Alice in Wonderland" vividly to life while also enveloping an audience into the colorful, crazy and wild world of Wonderland, opens this week and runs through October 18.

Hamby and a small group of designers and actors who have worked on many past Theater Works shows devised Curiouser from a series of brainstorming sessions that started where they were told "the sky's the limit" to let their imaginations soar. They then brought in additional actors and expanded the creative team to further refine the story, characters, and creative aspects to provide an experience that enfolds a small audience of 10 or less at a time into the world of the story, but always with safety aspects in mind. The small audience allows for everyone, including the actors, to socially distance from each other and face masks are also required to be worn.

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