Toronto theatre company creates coronavirus-themed shows using phone calls

Drawing on real-life stories about the pandemic, immersive theatre company Convergence Theatre is helping out artists and audiences to deliver one-of-a-kind entertainment


Your feelings about the COVID-19 crisis could inspire a new work of art. 

Convergence Theatre, one of the city’s most innovative theatre companies, is responding to the pandemic in a creative way – one that benefits both artists and audiences.

Converge Against Corona! consists of two parts:

The first, Covid Confessions, relies on anonymous phone calls and emails about how the pandemic has influenced people’s lives these will then inspire artists to create something unique.

This coming weekend, during a 36-hour period, you can leave Convergence a voice message or email artists (working in any medium) will then receive their commission (and confession) over the weekend, and have until April 3, 11:59 pm, to submit their piece. Artists receive $50 for their work. 

Convergence is also asking for patrons of the arts to fund the artists involved they can specify what medium they would like for their piece. For the $75 commission, $50 goes to the artist, and $25 goes to paying artists involved in The Corona Variations (see below).

Patrons will receive their special work of art on the weekend of April 4 images/clips of the works will be available for all to see on the company’s website. 

More info – for confessors, artists, patrons and audience members – can be found here.

The second part, The Corona Variations (surely a play on Convergence’s brilliant show The Gladstone Variations), is a cycle of six short “phone plays” meant for one audience member (or household) at a time. The run is from Tuesday (April 14) to Sunday (April 19), from 8 to 11 pm. For $35, each audience member will receive six separate phone calls between 8 and 11 pm on their chosen night. 

Only after the performance will audiences discover the playwrights and actors. But best to act quickly the show has a limited capacity of 10 audience members (or households) a night.

Right now, Variations is recommended for audiences aged 16 and up. The company is considering mounting a family-friendly version, too, which would consist of matinees. 

And if this project is a success, they’d like to commission more artists for the Confessions and have multiple casts working on the Variations. 

@glennsumi

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