In a time where the word “unprecedented” has made what feels like a permanent home in email greetings and the news cycle, it’s no surprise that people are turning to the arts for comfort. Seeing famous bands playing on Facebook Live sessions and movies premiering via streaming services is nothing new.
It’s this same thought process that has brought live theatre into the homes of many since the start of the pandemic. Local theatre is no exception, as several companies in Bakersfield have produced radio and Zoom shows amidst COVID-19 concerns.
In “The Zoom Where It Happens”, The Empty Space takes its audience on a journey from the comfort of home. “Loving Fae”, the first piece, transports the audience to a mystical world where an enchanted new love blossoms with the help of friends. In the second piece, “Magic Mirror”, strangers consult a gas station bathroom mirror only to find that what they want isn’t always what they need.
After this, the audience comes face-to-face with the villains of Arkham in their pursuit of revenge in “Asylum”. The show then rounds out with “Zoom of Doom”, a video call between the four horsemen of the apocalypse which goes awry due to technical difficulties.
By making theatre accessible through Zoom, this production is exemplary of the ways in which the arts can bring a community closer together while offering a sanctuary from every day monotony.
For Maya Blackstone, a third year CSU Bakersfield Theatre major and actress, the goal of this form of live theatre is to “Break the wall while being as safe as possible” Blackstone said.
To Yasmin Marcelo, actress and Junior at CSUB, this is an opportunity for the community to “Grow in their appreciation of the arts and maybe even get involved,” Marcelo said.
Tickets are 10 dollars and can be purchased via The Empty Space website until Feb. 6. Fortunately, due to Zoom formatting, the production can be viewed for up to a month after purchase.