Wired Arts Festival, the first online performing arts festival

We’re at a pivotal moment in the future of the performing arts, world-wide. New technologies and social media give us the ability to connect, as performers and audiences, in un-paralleled fashion. Kathryn Jones and the team at Virtual Arts TV hope to capitalize on this interest as they present the first online performing arts festival Wired Arts Festival, February 19th – March 2nd, 2013.

Wired Arts Fest logoI first met Kathryn on Twitter, and became very intrigued with this project, which melds live performances by twelve companies, situated at the New Media Centre of the Secret Theatre in Queens, New York, and a global audience accessing and interacting with the shows via livestream.

She kindly agreed to an interview and chat (via Google Hangout).

What are the challenges to producing this festival?

At the moment some of the technology doesn’t exist. We’ve have to build everything from scratch. I look forward to all this being ready.

Why do you have a live audience?

It’s crucial to us, we all come from a theatre background; a live audience adds an energy and a potency and an immediacy that we don’t want to work without.

Why should my readers participate?

We’re really in this phenomenal opportunity to invent something new. You have to create content that’s compelling.  It’s the launch of a nascent industry that will have profound implications for the performing arts.

Just putting a camera on what’s happening on screen – that’s not compelling content.

As an livestream audience member, you’re going to feel like you’re part of the action. Social media is an integral part of this experience – it’s an “and” to traditional theatre.

  • Some people are just going to sit back and watch (the traditional model).
  • Some are going to participate (the transmedia model)
  • Some people are going to come and go, as things catch their interest.

People can be part of a global audience and a global community. It’s an opportunity to be part of an audience that happens in New York – “almost be there”

We’re going to cull the comments and they’ll be projected onto the screen and become part of the show. That’s why someone from anywhere is encouraged to join us.

We need to try things to get younger audiences into the theatre, we need to fail. Maybe in three years we’ll think Twitter and theatre is the best idea, or the worst idea. But, we’ve got to try it.

Tell me about the programming for the festival.

There are twelve companies presenting work – dance, theatre and a musical piece. One of our dance pieces White With Some Colour includes the musicians incorporated into the choreography of the dance.

Die: Roll to Proceed is an interactive play with 240 possible outcomes; the audience rolls the dice.

There’s also educational theatre (S.T.A.R.).

It’s a real gamut of types of theatre; we’re trying to reach as many people as possible. We’re hoping for an audience in the thousands every night.

“It’s a brave new world and the opportunity to invent something new”.

The Wired Arts Festival (#WiredArtsFest on Twitter)
February 19th – March 2nd, 2013 at the Secret Theatre (Queens, NY) and online
Shows (in theatre) $18.
Livestream: $2.50 per performance. Festival Pass for $35

Abstract Nude.

a live-streamed digital play by Gwydion Suilebhan

“Dextrous theatricality and unexpected pleasure… bowled over by the suppleness of the writing.” — Peter Marks, Washington Post

A true digital theater experience, Gwydion Suilebhan’s Abstract Nude challenges its characters and our audience to “Create Yourself in Your Own Image”. The play takes us on a backwards journey through time as a work by the famous contemporary painter, Jake Cohen, passes from owner to owner, ultimately revealing more about the people who come into contact with it than it does about itself. Funny, thoughtful, disturbing, sexually charged…. submit your own abstract nudes during the live-streamed show, and join in our worldwide community via Facebook, Twitter and chat rooms!

Alice and Elizabeth’s One Woman Show

The award winning Alice and Elizabeth’s One Woman Show, has been called a “brave and moving act of storytelling, born of an extraordinary friendship”(Stagebuzz). Based on the true story of a long term friendship and the trials of of turning 40 as single women, it is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Alice Barden performs the piece playing herself at different ages, her friend Elizabeth, their mothers, and various other players in their lives.

Alice and Elizabeth’s One Woman Show was written by Alice Barden and Elizabeth Walker. It has been workshopped in New York City, Los Angeles and San Franciso and won awards for best acting and best production in the Midtown International Theatre Festival.


Emerging NYC choreographers Barbie Diewald of TrioDance Collective and Mari Meade Montoya of Mari Meade Dance Collective each present a 10 minute work.

Mari Meade Dance Collective in collaboration with Dana Salisbury present an excerpt of What We Were Handed. The full length work is both “seen” and “unseen” with sections designed for blindfolded audiences. What We Were Handed is based on Australian Indigenous creation myths, called “songlines” or “dreaming tracks”–paths across the land marking the routes taken by creator-beings who wandered the continent in “dreamtime.” To this day, individuals are entrusted with re-walking and re-singing each family’s path to keep it alive.

Barbie Diewald and TrioDance Collective will perform a new duet, set to music by composer Tristan McKay. The highly collaborative duet centers around lost memories, rituals, and the malleable nature of time and emotion. The relationship shifts, stories are knotted and unknotted, time speeds up and slows down. The work sets formal, codified movement alongside everyday gesture to create a richly layered map of ambiguous memories. This intimate duet, currently in development, is at once harsh and familial; romantic and straightforward; elegant and stammering.

Die: Roll to Proceed

“A Choose Your Own (Hilarious) Adventure…. DIE: Roll to Proceed is the show to see in NYC!”

Imagine if you will a world unencumbered by the stress of decision-making, a world where you never have to wonder if you made the “right” decision. In DIE: Roll to Proceed, the protagonist George, in a moment of self-realization sparked by a recent explosive argument with his girlfriend Kate, decides to revoke his own right to choose the paths his life will take. He stumbles upon a solution to avoid the customary human requirement of making hard and potentially life-changing decisions: a six-sided die.

At pivotal moments in the play, the audience (both at the theater and online) will be called upon to break the fourth wall and roll the die. Each number on the die determines a specific path the show can take, and after an audience member rolls, the show then goes in that direction. With the multitude of die rolls that occur throughout the show, there are 240 different versions of the play. Thanks to audience participation, George and his reclusive roommate embark on a comical, strange, and seemingly unpredictable journey. Their fate… Your hands… Roll the DIE.

Originally developed at the legendary La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, this interactive choose your own adventure comedy boasting 240 possible outcomes moves online after an acclaimed eight month sold-out run in NYC. Written by Joe Kurtz, DIE: Roll to Proceed features direction and original music by Christian De Gré (Story Time with Mr. Buttermen) and calls upon audience members to roll a die at crucial plot points to determine the course of the play. Since its premiere in 2010 no two performances have ever been the same.

Read about the making of the play here: http://mindtheartentertainment.blogspot.com/2012/04/die-roll-to-proceed-directors-note-on.html

Watch our trailer, read our reviews and waste some time on our website here: www.Dierolltoproceed.com

Exit 12 Dance Company

EXIT12 is a contemporary dance company committed to creating and performing works of high cultural significance that inspire conversations about worldly differences and the lasting effects of violence and conflict on communities, families, and individuals.

Through movement, Exit12 educates audiences about the reality of war, advocate diversity and mutual understanding through cultural exchange, and champion the humanity and dignity of all persons.

EXIT12 supports and advances the notion that art heals, and is devoted to serving those who have been touched by conflict by expressing their stories.

Artistic Director Roman Baca is an Iraq War Veteran and trained classical dancer who has used dance to help in his transition back into life after war.  He has since returned to Iraq to educate children about dance as a vehicle for telling stories.


This tiny tornado of a play lasts only 60 minutes, but spans a lifetime. Sally Lambert was an opera star and playwright until a grapefruit got in the way. She died last year, just before this play was to debut with her telling her own tale. Cheryl King has done a masterful job of taking up the role. This is a comedy about tragedy, pulled off brilliantly.

We begin with Sally coming out of the anesthetic. The news isn’t great. Then we join her on a voyage through her life’s adventures, successes, and dramas. She laughs and we laugh. We are laughing to scare the devil, and we all know it. But we are laughing, and that’s what matters.”  -Karen D’Onofrio, eljnyc.com

Grapefruit is a one-woman show, written by Sally Lambert, and performed by Cheryl King. This 60-minute journey through Sally’s life and her struggles with the medical establishment during her cancer treatment has been running at Stage Left since September 2011. It’s been praised by critics and audience alike.

Huis Clos

Lauren Rayner Productions presents Huis Clos, Directed by Roxane Revon and starring Neyssan Falahi, Leslie Fray and Roxane Revon. Huis Clos (“No Exit”) is a 1944 French play written by existentialist Sartre in which three damned souls are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity. In this play you may discover that l’enfer, c’est les autres / “hell, is other people.”

“LRP’s trio of young, French actors adds youth, energy and freshness to this classic text, which is never easy to access with its profound, essential reflection on life, death and morale. Roxane Revon, Isis, Brice Baillie and Charlotte H make existentialism sound friendlier and more accessible to French and non-French audiences of all ages while preserving its essence throughout. Let’s hope new shows soon get added!” -Nicolas Occhiminuti, EuroVisions//NYC

“LRP successfully brought the play to NYC – not forgetting to incorporate the original language with four lively and magnetic French artists taking on the stage and even drawing a predominently French-speaking audience. This rendition was compelling and showcased some great international talents based in NYC.” -Julie Brobeck, NYC-Art-Parasites

Les Muses

Jennifer Mellor Dance Project presents Les Muses, a playful pair of modern dance duets. Based in part on a French Impressionist artist’s reinterpretation of the classic mythological muses said to be the forces behind the creation of literature and the arts and sciences, the dance is a light, contemporary exploration of artistic inspiration and tousled femininity with neo-classical movement, abstract narrative, and intricate partnering.

S.T.A.R Theatre

S.T.A.R. uses the performing arts and peer education to help young people make informed decisions, providing options for changing attitudes and prejudices, and creating opportunities for promoting healthy behaviors. It is built on the belief that a significant impact on adolescents is possible only if young people have comprehensive understanding about the issues they face growing up in today’s world.

TITS written and performed by Ege Maltepe

A Lecture Comedy on the social importance of the female breasts by Prof Bade Gediklioglu, the professor of the female body.

In her 40 min. “lecture” Turkish Prof Bade Gediklioglu, aka Prof G, will reveal her PhD thesis on TITS chapter by chapter as she personally opens up to her audience.

White With Some Color

The choreography for White with Some Color was originally inspired by Stephanie Griffin’s recording of her multi-tracked viola arrangement of Tony Prabowo’s choral work Doa Persembunyian (A Prayer for Refuge) and Magritte’s painting The Lovers.

For the WiredArts Fest, seven violists will perform the arrangement live and be integrated into the existing choreography of the piece. The choreography uses minimal movement, an altered sense of time and a costume that connects the performers, displaying the effect an individual’s actions can have on a group and the marks that remain when the connection is cut. The total work is 16 minutes in length.

Although instrumental music and dance have absorbed the text, the project also has a literary component. Prabowo’s music, originally for mixed choir, is based on the poem A Prayer for Refuge by renowned Indonesian writer Goenawan Mohamad.

The ominous tone of Tony Prabowo’s composition speaks to the intention of the performers and foreshadows the coming climax. The final section and conclusion of the work uses recorded traditional court gamelan music and ties Tony Prabowo’s composition, the seven violists, the dancers and the poem together.

Words of Choice

A woman’s right to choose soars in a tapestry of 14 powerful ‘shorts’ — serious and comic. These are stories from the heart: humorous and tender; poignant and riveting, from theater, spoken word,  comedy,  poetry, oral history and journalism.  “Smart, funny, endangered!”

Words of Choice II: Roe40! Charging On! Professional theater with an exciting collection of works from a dozen writers, performed by an ensemble of actors. Words of Choice blazes with the transformative power of theater — at its best

Created by Cindy Cooper and under the direction of Francesca Mantani Arkus, three actors take multiple roles. The highly curated selections include monologues, sketches, spoken word, letters, poetry and scenes, and are, variously, humorous, poignant and serious. The performance lasts 65 to 70 minutes, and is followed by a discussion with participants and invited activists or other experts.

Writers in Words of Choice include: Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney, Barbara Lindsay, Alix Olson, Esosa Edosoman, June Jordan, Kathleen Tolan, Judith Arcana, Michael David Quinn, Angela Bonavoglia, Mary Ann Sorrentino, Sally Blackmun and Justice Harry Blackmun, Dr. Susan Wicklund, Jana Mackey and others.

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.

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