Event Details
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    September 4, 2020
    4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Alternatives to Live Theater, During COVID (and Beyond)
Friday, September 4, 2020 at 4:30
Community Gathering on Zoom - register above to receive the Zoom link.
Some forms of theatrical entertainment seem destined for these times of pandemic isolation. Our speakers will tell us about alternative experiences they are working with in order to engage stay-at-home audiences. For Artistic Stamp, this represents a pivot specifially for now, with every letter of every play being a unique handwritten response to each audience member. For RealTime interventions, this was a chosen art form even before COVID, and now might inspire others to experiment and explore. We'll talk about the methods of creating interactive experiences, and how COVID has (or has not) influenced the content of these innovations. 
In the room: West Hyler, director, formerly with NYMF, story writer and scene director for Cirque Du Soleil Paramour and current AD along with Shelley Butler of Artistic Stamp, an immersive theatrical experience using email correspondence; and AD's Molly Rice (lead playwright) and Rusty Thelin (lead director/producer) of RealTime Interventions, a company that creates theatrical events and public experiences that depend on the immediate nature of real time.

    Eecent productions include the world premieres of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 at South Coast Repertory and The Magician’s Daughter by Lila Rose Kaplan for Geva. She has developed over two dozen new plays and musicals at companies including Ars Nova, Primary Stages, E.S.T., WP Theater, The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Geva, Pioneer Theatre Company, Milwaukee Rep New York Stage and Film, PlayPenn, Playwright’s Realm, New Dramatists and the Lark.


    has worked on five Broadway shows and three world-renowned circuses. He was the producing artistic director of the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) and the Scene Director and Story Writer for Cirque Du Soleil Paramour, Cirque's first Broadway Musical. Other directing work includes Shrek, The Musical (Bulgarian National Opera House), iLuminate Happy Hour (Caesar's Entertainment, Las Vegas),  Panda! (Beijing State Theater, Palazzo Hotel and Casino), Big Apple Circus seasons of Legendarium and Metamorphosis (Lincoln Center, Nat'l Tour), Djembe! (Apollo Theater, Chicago), Mortality Play, Wingman, The Kid Who Would Be Pope (Ars Nova), H2O (59E59), Avenue Q (Bulgarian Puppet Theatre, IKAR award), Tempest, Love's Labour's Lost, Merry Wives of Windsor (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival), The Disappearing Man (MTF, St Louis Rep), Georama (St Louis Rep, NYMF, *Outstanding Directing Award), Getting My Act Together, Game of Love (York Theater Company), No Way to Treat a Lady (The Colony Theater), amongst many others. Other Broadway credits include the Associate Director on Jersey Boys and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as others. He has been a Drama League directing fellow, Drama League Resident Artist and holds an MFA from UCSD.


    Artistic Director of RealTime Interventions, is a playwright/ songwriter/experience designer whose work has been developed and produced across the country. Her work and articles about her work can be seen in American Theater Magazine, The Dramatist, Dramatics Magazine, Kenyon Review, Play: A Journal,  Indie Theater Now, Clarkson Potter Press, Heinemann Press, and various local and national news sources including the New York Times. Honors and awards include Brown University’s Weston Prize for Playwriting, Women’s International Theater Festival, PONY award (finalist), Princess Grace Award (finalist), O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (2-time finalist), nominations for the New York Innovative Theater Awards, the Pittsburgh Mayor’s Award for Public Art, and the Kesselring Fellowship, and participation in the Montclair and Pace New Works Initiatives with director Rachel Chavkin and composer Orion Johnstone. Projects include Khuraki, a theatrical collaboration with Afghan refugees; Angelmakers: Songs for Female Serial Killers (book, music and lyrics); digital shows A Doll House (in a Dollhouse), ASSOCIATE and INSPIRE; Futurity: A Musical by the Lisps (book co-writer, additional text and story) at American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, 2012) and Soho Rep (NYC, 2015; Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Musical, 2016); and THE SAINTS TOUR, a site-specific traveling play that has appeared in neighborhoods across the country since 2009. Over the years THE SAINTS TOUR has incorporated the talents of diverse artists such as Macarthur Fellow Taylor Mac, Rachel Chavkin, and Dave Malloy (all Tony nominees/ winners); musicians Lady Rizo, Tyrone Cotton, Heather Christian, and Rick Burkhardt; celebrated visual artists Vanessa German (Don Tyson Award winner, 2018), Lenka Clayton (Guggenheim Social Practice Grant recipient), David Pohl, Lindsey Scherloum, and James Simon; and community organizations like the Salvation Army, Grow Pittsburgh, Judson Memorial Church, and Cherry Lane Theater, among others. Molly currently teaches Playwriting in the Point Park Writing for Screen and Stage MFA program. She is a longtime musician/ songwriter. When she was 18 one of her songs made the Top 100 Charts in Alaska. She still doesn’t know what number it was.

    Artistic Director of Realtime Interventions is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, and attended the Hollins University Graduate Playwriting program. He has worked with a13P, Clubbed Thumb, Soho Rep, Bread & Puppet, The Brick, Teleotheatre Company and New Georges. Rusty graduated from the Broadway League’s Commercial Theater Institute, and has produced indie rock musicals including The GrooveLily’s Ernest Shackelton Loves Me (Seattle Rep, 54 Below); Futurity by The Lisps (HERE Arts Center, American Repertory Theater); Struck by Rebecca Hart and Sometimes in Prague by Orion Johstone & Johua Gelb (New Ohio’s Ice Factory); and Canary by Molly Rice (New York Theatre Workshop, co-conceived & directed by Tony Award Winner Rachel Chavkin). As a director, Rusty develops new plays and community-fueled work, working with playwrights such as Lucy Thurber, Maura Campbell, Justin Maxwell, and Molly Rice; he has also directed such classics as Death of a Salesman, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Hamlet. Trained as a classical actor by members of the OSF and RSC, Rusty has appeared on stage as Petrucchio in The Taming of the Shrew as well as a slew of Shakespearean roles from Romeo & Juliet to Othello, Twelfth Night to The Tempest; he has been seen in the Sondheim musicals Sweeney Todd and Into The Woods and was nominated for an Irene Adler Excellence in Acting Award for originating the role of Jess in Rachel Nelson’s Paper Cup Ocean. Rusty is Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh production company RealTime Interventions, where he has directed and produced several original projects including The Saints Tour:  Greater Braddock and Khuraki: a Celebration of Afghanistan in Pittsburgh, as well as Angelmakers: Songs For Female Serial Killers, which he co-conceived with his partner, playwright Molly Rice.