As the Broad Stage gears up for the return of in-person performances, it is launching an interactive virtual series giving viewers an intimate look inside the creative journey behind its newly commissioned works.
The series, which is entitled REVEAL, utilizes many of the technological tools that the Broad Stage adopted during the pandemic. From Zoom conversations, to virtual panel discussions, to videos from inside the practice room, the program offers a multitude of ways for audience members to interact with the artists.
This is a unique opportunity for viewers, as theatres typically only allow patrons to experience an artistic production at its final stage of development. As part of the Broad Stage’s mission to engage and activate its audiences, REVEAL provides a rare view into how a theatrical work moves from conception to enactment.
“REVEAL offers a sneak peek and insight into what an artist is working on at their starting point and what issues the artist may be grappling with as they build their piece,” said Ilaan Mazzini, director of programs and activations. “To me it is like being a fly on the wall during rehearsal and listening to the collaborators work out their ideas or getting access to an artist’s private video collection to learn about their history and how it shaped what they are making today.”
The series begins with three episodes on May 6, 8, and 15, exploring the artistic journey behind Brooklyn-based theatre The TEAM’s play “Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside)”.
The Broad Stage has commissioned this play for its upcoming theatrical season and is greatly looking for welcoming viewers back to the theatre once its reopening dates are finalized.
Reconstruction is co-directed by Rachel Chavkin, Tony Award winning director of hit Broadway musical Hadestown, and Zhailon Levingston, director of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. The play was written collaboratively by 23 different artists and shifts through time from the Reconstruction Era to the present day.
The play’s themes are both timely and timeless as it poses questions about the pervasive power of white supremacy, the violence of gentrification, and intimacy between black and white individuals in America. The work features a live score and was collaboratively written by 23 different artists.
The first REVEAL episode explores how a 2017 play by the TEAM called “Primer for a Failed Superpower” both inspired and helped prepare the company to create Reconstruction.
The second episode centers around the Reconstruction practice room and explores the role of its Process Champlain. The final episode includes a live streamed panel and Q&A with the artists as they discuss how they created Reconstruction as a deeply reflective work that is useful to racially diverse audiences.
“I want everyone to get to know these artists! They all have important reflections and narratives to share that I think are worth paying attention to,” said Mazzini. “I hope that by watching REVEAL, our audiences will connect to the subject matter and artistic voice of the commissioned works and will find a relevance to their own lives.”
Mazzini said those interested in learning more or signing up to watch the episode livestream should visit thebroadstage.org/reveal. Future programs will explore other upcoming shows at The Broad Stage including the re-imagined opera “Iphigenia” and a part-play part-concert titled “Universal Child Care”.