The Outer Loop Theater Experience Creates One-of-a-Kind Virtual Production Amidst Pandemic

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The Outer Loop Theater Experience's Co-Artistic Directors, Rachael Yoder and Michael Herman, have announced The Empathy Project | Volume I, premiering May 30th at 7:00pm CT. The 10-year-old nonprofit theater company, known to its faithful DeKalb and New York followers as "that innovative arts-for-action group," has taken their responsibility as artists to the next level.

From The Outer Loop and The Humanity Project, comes a LIVE virtual collaboration and devised theatrical response to the moment of crisis, we as a global community, currently find ourselves in. These are strange and uncertain times... ones simultaneously abundant and lacking in connection and hope. Can we, through theater, inspire empathy and reconnect to our shared humanity?

The Empathy Project, a virtual devised theater event, launching on Saturday, May 30th, will include both live and pre-recorded performances of stories from people of all ages, races, beliefs and demographics, all surrounding their current experience of COVID-19 and the global pandemic. The Outer Loop has gathered these stories from local communities and beyond, and is collaborating with a group of actors, singers, dancers, movers, songwriters and artists... curating, devising and assembling the larger Empathy Project piece. They will then perform it LIVE on May 30th via the Zoom platform.

Co-Artistic Director Rachael Yoder, a current Northern Illinois University graduate student, described the project, "We paired eleven stories from all over the world, with seventeen artists from all over the nation. We're hoping everyone will join us as we discover what it means to be human... right now."

Empathy Project Co-Director Emily Vitrano, an NIU MFA Acting alum, added, "The project is a devised piece, so we're not sure yet exactly what it will look like, but we are sure it will have an impact; the project's purpose stemming from The Outer Loop's greater purpose and mission: to create art that matters. We are hoping by bringing together voices, stories and experiences from all walks of life and artists from all mediums, both participants and audience alike will engage in the greater conversation of what it means to be human... right now. And that together, we might discover while our experiences or views of the pandemic may differ, our feelings of fear, joy, disappointment, hope, anger, and love are all the same."

Donation-based tickets on sale now: https://empathyproject.eventbrite.com/


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