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University of Kentucky Students Discuss Working on the Virtual Women's Theatre Festival, the Future of Virtual Theatre, and More

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University of Kentucky Students Discuss Working on the Virtual Women's Theatre Festival, the Future of Virtual Theatre, and More

This summer, three University of Kentucky students are working on bringing theatre to people virtually, through the Women's Theatre Festival (WTF) based in Raleigh, North Carolina, which runs through August 1, North Kentucky Tribune reports.

Theatre, English and musical theatre certificate senior Abby Davis, of California, Kentucky; theatre senior Allison "Ali" Ray, of Lexington; and theatre, arts administration, musical theatre certificate and Lewis Honors College senior Chelsea Russell, of Independence, all chatted with the Tribune about their involvement.

"Everyone is trying to figure out how to do virtual theatre as we go. The festival is very ambitious - it's huge. We work every day except for Sundays," Russell said. "There are four tracks - Conference sessions (WTF Con), the Fringe Festival, WTF Family (kids classes, Seed Art share on Fridays, accompanying Parent Coffee Hours) and Festival Fridays, which includes special events, keynote sessions and workshops such as the Anti-Racist Theatre Workshop with Nicole Brewer, Equity In Producing Workshop and The Momversations Project."

Russell also said she believes that virtual theatre is great for audience participation.

"The great thing about virtual theatre is you can really rely on different people's networks, and you can rely on people being everywhere," she said. "We do post most of our content on our Twitch channel - on a Saturday night, we had 60-70 people watching on Twitch for a pay what you can. The reach is people all over the world - we have people tuning in. We're reaching people that we wouldn't otherwise get a chance to connect with."

Russell said that she thinks that, in some form, virtual theatre will continue to be used even in a post-COVID world.

"Maybe the next step is hybrid theatre. Maybe it's rehearsed online and then performed in person. I certainly don't think all of this effort is wasted. We need to figure out how to make art virtually until artists can reconvene in person."

Read the full interview on North Kentucky Tribune.


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