Southern Utah University’s Department of Theater, Dance and Arts Administration is collaborating with Catalyst: a Theater Think Tank to bring a performance of the new musical “The Timepiece” to an online audience on Jan. 29 and 30 at 7 p.m.
SUU’s theater students will be performing the inaugural production of “The Timepiece” in collaboration with Lisa Quoresimo, assistant professor of musical theater at SUU, who workshopped “The Timepiece” with its writers at Catalyst, a festival for new theater works.
This production will stand out from many others because of its use of technology. Each of the performers will participate from their own rooms in the Randall L. Jones Theater at SUU, ensuring that they maintain social distance. The rooms will contain green screens and cameras that will capture video that Kolby Clarke, professor of Theater Art in Lighting Design will supervise.
SUU Professor of Theater Art in Scenic Design Brian Beacom designed a virtual stage onto which he will superimpose the green screen performances. The effect of this process will be a livestream theater production that appears to comprise actors onstage together, when, in reality, they are in separate rooms in the basement of the theater.
Quoresimo is directing SUU’s production in collaboration with co-composers Keaton Wooden and Grayson Coleman-Shelby, who have been completing and making changes to the script as the actors have rehearsed.
“Since this show is a work in progress, Keaton and Grayson have been writing the script while we have been rehearsing,” Quoresimo said. “The students, through this collaboration, are able to develop their characters, ask questions of the writers, and see their work reflected in the rewrites. They are completely invested in this project.”
Wooden credits a friend for inspiring “The Timepiece.”
“He had this idea of a scientist building a time machine to save his girlfriend from the apocalypse, but the machine keeps accidentally making copies of him instead,” he said. “The idea kept coming back to me as something that connected to things I love: science, morality, bizarre visuals and storytelling.”
Alongside Wooden and Coleman-Shelby’s writing, Quoresimo’s direction and Clarke and Beacom’s technological efforts, SUU theater student Caden Thomas has choreographed this production.
More information on SUU’s Department of Theater, Dance and Arts Administration is available online. The livestream for this production, as well as a few recordings of past productions are available on the TDAA “Virtual Theater.”
Story by Janzen Jorgensen
Photo Courtesy of SUU TDAA