June 5, 2018 Contact: Jo Karabasz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 925-334-9133
Q&Q FEARLESS Theater Earns TWO Developmental Grants in a SINGLE MONTH !
Pleasant Hill, CA and online Second Life.
It's live theater like you've never seen before. The actors are animated, the stage is built with software. And the troupe, led by Bay Area Artistic Director Jo Karabasz, is launching into new venues with grants from San Francisco Bay company Linden Labs and New York based Rising Sun Theater Laboratorium. These two organizations are providing a platform for Q&Q Fearless Theater, an online theater troupe to bring its unique Live Animation theater to more audiences than ever before.
Q&Q was founded in 2011 by Jo Karabasz of Pleasant Hill, CA and has been putting on productions in the online creative community known as Second Life. Jo always says, “I tried Second Life and from that first day in 2009 I knew I had to make theater there,” and so she and they have! Since their founding, they've put on productions, including original works and such shows as "Pygmalion," “Blithe Spirit,” “All In The Timing,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Wit,” and adaptations of “Twilight Zone” episodes, “Moonstruck” and classic folktales.
The Q&Q FEARLESS Theater is like nothing you’ve ever seen, in fact, like nothing else being done anywhere. It is a group of artists, technologists, designers, and actors who have been together now for 6 years, working out the ways to marry the incredible 21st century technology of an online development platform to the magic of LIVE, classical theatrical performance and create an art form that is as new today as ‘moving pictures’ were in Edison’s time.
For each show they “build” a new theater within the development platform Second Life, and, up until now, the audiences have come there (as avatars) to see them. They produce 2 or 3 projects a year, giving multiple performances of each piece over a period of several weeks. They have performed to more than 1000 people in each of the past 5 years.
Want Rose to explain the Q&Q to you herself? Click here for a short video: https://youtu.be/qB_DcbXr5-8
The first exciting event was when Linden Endowment for the Arts offered the Q&Q a Core Land Grant for development, testing, and performance. The Linden Endowment for the Arts is providing "land," a virtual place for work to be performed in the online world of Second Life. "Linden Labs donates space to deserving artists within the community to promote art and artistic endeavors in Second Life," said Karabasz. "And Q&Q will do that by hosting a Festival of Theatre Arts that will give more visibility to performance, build audience interest and create a broader cohort of performers."
The LEA Grant in itself constituted an enormous BOOST to the group, but that was ONLY the beginning!
Rising Sun Theater Laboratorium - a developmental theater project located on Governor's Island in New York City - in the shadow of Broadway - has invited the Q&Q FEARLESS Theater to be an artist-in-residence in their space this fall!
Every year the Rising Sun Performance Company programs a Theatrical Artist Retreat & Residency in Nolan Park House 11 on the island. Over the course of the Residency, they host a different playwright and/or director each week to develop new play scripts and works in progress, as well as site-specific devised works.
For one week in October, 2018, the Q&Q will explore the ways to present its unique Live Animation performances to an audience that does not know or use Second Life. After the week of discussions, development, and rehearsal, for two days they will perform LIVE at Governor's Island National Park.
What sets the Q&Q apart:
The Q&Q Fearless Theater includes from 10 to 20 participants with any given performance. These include those who give voices, those who create the digital sets or costumes, and those who create animation for the characters.
The Q&Q is more inclusive than any traditional theater could ever be. Both members and audience are located all over the globe. The Internet makes time zones and distance irrelevant, but even more significant is the fact that disability or age is no obstacle: several of the cast members are seriously hampered either in terms of mobility or vision – and one cannot speak – but they can and do act in every production. In the same way, they can bring theater to those who are homebound or simply live too far from a city to have live theater available to them.
Even after 6 years they are still able to imagine so much more than they have as yet accomplished, and, in fact, that may be the best part of the experience. Vision is what keeps the Q&Q moving forward. Clearly, the electricity of live performance can’t be equaled by any recording, and technology affords the possibility of adding cinematic effects and techniques to the talents of live actors. Each new production is better than the previous one, and with each one they push the technology (and skill in using it) beyond the edge of the envelope again.
These two grants will enable the Q&Q to take a huge step in a new direction. They plan to explore ways to present their work to a “traditional”, live audience, not just to one that is online in the game platform. Some of the required technology is simple enough: a sound system feed from a computer and a projector, but artistically orienting the audience and creating a unique experience for them – that is where they intend to place their main focus.
Over the next few months Second Life and the art of Live Animation are stepping out in ways nobody could have predicted when the Q&Q began 7 years ago, but it is STILL only the beginning of an amazing future.