Go big or go home the saying says. This is exactly what Arlekin Players Theatre | Zero Gravity Lab have decided to do when they plan their second season which will begin on December 10 with the preview of Witness prior to the World Premiere on December 13th. This new work for their groundbreaking virtual theater is a documentary piece about the migratory experience of Jewish people in the face of antisemitism. It is based on extensive research, historical material largely coming from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and they have been woven together by playwright Nana Grinstein with the collaboration of dramaturg Blair Cadden and Arlekin’s artistic director Igo Golyak. WITNESS shares stories through an interactive virtual theater experience at the nexus of film, theater and video games. 

IMAGE: A virtual environment from WITNESS, scenography by Anna Fedorova, virtual design by Daniel Cormino (Courtesy Arlekin Players)

“We have been in an intense period of experimentation with virtual theater through the two productions we created during the pandemic (State vs Natasha Banina and chekhovOS /an experimental game/). We were able to reach audiences in over 40 countries which was incredible. WITNESS is the next step in our exploration, and for this show, we are experimenting with a new combination of tools that may have not been used previously in the virtual theater medium.” says Golyak. “We are creating WITNESS at a time when Jewish refugees around the world are having conversations around kitchen tables about the lack of safety, of belonging, of finding a home in the face of rising antisemitism. These are questions that Arlekin’s resident company of actors, and our larger community, are asking: “Will my children be safe? What’s the next pit stop? When do we start packing?” Because we are producing WITNESS virtually, we are able to invite audiences from across cultures and time zones to an interactive experience where they can encounter the stories of Jewish people migrating, fleeing persecution, and to engage in these questions with us. That’s an extraordinary opportunity”.

“Zero Gravity theatre develops new talent, fosters artistic collaboration, and shares virtual performance in an endlessly large auditorium!”, says .ART founder Ulvi Kasimov. “This opens up fantastic horizons for modern theater. Arlekin is undoubtedly a pioneer in the use of information technology in performance art, and we are proud to work with them and to be part of this new movement.”

To learn more and to purchase your ticket, you can visit www.zerogravity.art.