Bringing to life the national conversation of the trials and tribulations of 2020, the College of the Canyons theater department will present its devised production “Virtuality: the 2020 Tournaments,” on Friday and Saturday.
The live Zoom theater production examines the pandemic along the backdrop of protests, politics and the ever-thinning line between news and entertainment.
“We are living in a unique time in history,” said Director Susan Hinshaw, who is also a theater instructor at the college. “It’s a time of upheaval, turmoil and great social change. ‘Virtuality: the 2020 Tournaments’ addresses the blurring of lines between news, entertainment and reality in the great melting pot that is America. It’s straight out of today’s headlines.”
Each year Mega Corp Inc. hosts a virtual game in which real-life players take on avatars navigating the world of Apocalypse 2020, a sharp parallel of reality. Meanwhile, commentators and the luckier few watch from the outside world.
When these two worlds collide, “Virtuality: the 2020 Tournaments” takes on a media-obsessed culture intent on turning even the most sorrowful crisis into entertainment. The players are met with a ruthless artificial intelligence, COVID monsters, and testimonies of what it means to live a life under systemic racism — all while fighting to survive, and make it out of the game. With each level, the players start to recognize the systems of oppression intrinsic to the game, and are left to re-evaluate their individual journeys.
“Virtuality: the 2020 Tournaments” is an original piece, written, produced and designed entirely by Hinshaw’s new play development production class: Amanda Amour, Jacqueline Banuelos, Bryna Barron, Saige Boddy, Teal Fink, Carleton Greer, Adrianne Hernandez, Nora McCoy, Bob Mosier, Rebecca Nussbaum, Kohlton Rippee, Camila Saettone, Myrna Velasco, Sedona Vivirito, and Angela White.
Christopher Boltz, chair of the college’s theater department, serves as the production’s technical director.
Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.
The production contains graphic language and political/social subject matter, including racially sensitive language and content. Recommended for ages 18 and up. To attend the live Zoom theatre event, click here.