"THE GOLDEN RECORD" BY MICAH KOSSTRIN-GREENBERG
PIONEERS SCI FI IN VIRTUAL THEATER.
"The record will still be largely intact, in some other remote region of the Milky Way galaxy, preserving a murmur of an ancient civilization that once flourished ... on the distant planet Earth." -- Carl Sagan
This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. -- Jimmy Carter
WHERE AND WHEN:
July 8 to 30, 2021
Presented by Wall Break Productions in collaboration with Blue Owl Films, co-produced with A Sketch of New York.
Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 PM, plus a special press opening performance Saturday, July 10 at 8:00 PM.
$15 with additional discounts available. Tickets and info: https://goldenrecordplay.com/
Critics are invited on or after June 10.
NEW YORK, July 15 -- "The Golden Record," a new play by Micah Kosstrin-Greenberg, pioneers the use of virtual theater for science fiction. It brings a futuristic cosmic fantasy to life on Zoom using beautiful visual effects, digital makeup, audience participation and techniques of immersive theater. Presented by Wall Break Productions in collaboration with Blue Owl Films, the performances are July 8 to 30, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 PM, plus a special press opening performance Saturday, July 10 at 8:00 PM.
Unlike the Zoom readings and plays which have now become familiar, there is no fourth wall. The audience watches the drama as if they are accompanying the characters through space. They also converse with the actors and guide the plot development interactively.
The play's title is a reference to a NASA time capsule program, "The Golden Record," in which Voyagers 1 and 2--robotic interstellar probes--carry a twelve-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.
Kosstrin-Greenberg's play is set after the twilight of humanity, when our species made two final leaps toward the stars. Into the cold universe, as an eternal light of our being, have been sent two complete human consciousnesses, Rebecca and Andrew. Their minds are immortalized through technologies and sent into space as a testament that we existed. In their consciousness lies the memory of humankind.
The bridge between them is a newly emergent female artificial intelligence (never named, but referred to here as "AI") which is gaining consciousness on a disabled spacecraft. She transforms, at various points in the play, into Rebecca who once had been the sole companion of Andrew. He was in space for eons but for the last three centuries, he has been entirely alone. The drama centers on whether "AI" can recapture Rebecca's memories, which have been lost to interstellar hazards, and save Andrew from a lethal collision in space.
"AI" is innocent, childlike and formal. Rebecca, played by the same actress, is sardonic and stoical. Andrew is informal and blunt, but half-mad from isolation, clinging to connection like a shipwrecked sailor grabs at flotsam. All are challenged to rediscover trust and navigate their fraught relationships.
The production, with Zoom as its stage, is interactive and specifically built for online performances. Infused with humor and high stakes challenges, it tackles themes including loneliness, identity, memory, and connection. Through semi-improvisational interactions with the audience, "AI" develops a distinct identity and backstory that are unique to every show. As active participants, audience members contribute real, emotionally genuine experiences and connect with each other as well as the cast. The play culminates in a mortal threat to "AI," leaving the audience a final choice: do you choose between a tragic reality, or a beautiful creation?
"The Golden Record" has been developed by the production team of: Micah Kosstrin-Greenberg (Producer/Playwright), James Ellerby (Director), Brittany Crowell (Producing Consultant), Kenneth Oum (Technical/Web Designer), Darien DeMaria (Actor: AI & Rebbecca), Joe DiNozzi (Actor: Andrew), Joshua Shuey (Tech Supervisor) and Cat Ross (Makeup Supervisor).
Micah Kosstrin-Greenberg was inspired to write "The Golden Record" after realizing that streaming technology offers an opportunity to make theater more participatory, rather than less. His aim was to write a piece that was engaging to watch, while drawing on the genuine lives of the audience members, connecting them and creating something new each time. To fulfill it, he assembled a team of artists and techies from New York and Philadelphia. (See biographies below.)
For tickets and more info, go to: https://goldenrecordplay.com/.
Micah Kosstrin-Greenberg (Writer/Producer) has performed with the New York Renaissance Festival, The New Jersey Renaissance Faire, The Los Angeles Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire and Sinking Ship Productions. He performs frequently in films and plays and has toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. "The Golden Record" is his playwriting debut.
James Ellerby (Director/Producer) is directing his first Zoom production with "The Golden Record." He is a filmmaker and producer with over a decade of acting and performing experience. He has appeared in productions across the Philadelphia area including "Between the Colored lines and other Black Girl Tales" and "Philadelphia the Great Experiment." He is launching a new film company, Blue Owl Film Productions.
Kenneth Oum (Lead Designer) is a designer, developer and game artist who works in graphic design, animation, game/web development and video production. He earned a Masters Degree in Digital Media at Drexel University, going on to work for various gaming startups and creative digital agencies focused on nonprofits. He created the first ever spectroscopy based brain computer interface single/multiplayer game and designing teaching simulation software for new/returning teachers.
Darien DeMaria (The AI/Rebecca) is an actor, writer, and theatrical producer. She moved to NYC to attend the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and co-founded A Sketch of New York Productions, through which she has produced the long-running sketch comedy show "A Sketch of New York" and "Behind Glass Walls: The Anxiety Plays." She performed for seven seasons at the New York Renaissance Faire, has taught audience-interactive improv and has directed at The Village Ensemble.
Joe DiNozzi (Andrew) is an actor, voice actor, producer, director, stage combat choreographer and teacher. He has appeared in numerous OOB productions and has been a cast member and director of New York Renaissance Faire. He is founding director of A Sketch of New York Productions Inc., a sketch comedy show that satirizes city life.
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Critics are invited on or after June 10.