BWW Feature: THE OUTLET PROJECT at The Outlet Project
In an effort to ease the tedium and isolation of quarantine, many artists have taken to the virtual world of social media to present and perform their work. Locally, theatre artists Nita June and Sara Rademacher have created a portal for this kind of sharing through The Outlet Project, a prompt and curation website for short pieces that allows artists to collaborate and share their work. The Outlet Project, say the two founders, builds bridges in the community in a time when we can't physically be together. June and Rademacher note the need for connection, especially when performing artists are facing the reality that their usual form of expression involves being in quarters too close for pandemic safety. "How can we keep creating, continue forming new collaborations, address the pandemic, and get a little of this weight off our chest?" ask June and Rademacher. "The answer was: The Outlet Project."
The Outlet Project is aimed at art creators and consumers alike. Creators respond to a prompt given by the OP's directors. The creators then develop a short submission, under 100 words. Once submitted, the OP sends it to another contributor to interpret into a short performance that they can film and share online. "Our contributors thus far have mainly been from the arts community--actors, writers, directors, and dancers. We've had many local artists, as well as contributors from New York, Chicago, and beyond. Next week we are featuring writing from a Canadian Navy vet and a local grocery clerk," say June and Rademacher. "We are reaching out daily to the local and national community to extend the opportunity to share, emote, and express." The OP says that so far, responses have been quite varied in theme and content, "from the difficulties of isolation and fear brought up by the pandemic to a love poem dedicated a croissant."
June and Rademacher see theatre and performance as evolving art forms. Beyond the immediate need for expression and connection in a new world, the OP seeks to allow people a way to rethink how they spend their quarantine, and in the process, rethink how we create, present, and share the performing arts. "There is something always very much needed about the connection and expression shared in a more abstract or artistic fashion," The OP says about performances that seek to reveal the human experience. "Just as "a picture is worth a thousand words," so too can a short performance be equal to a thousand emotions...People are stuck, isolated, afraid, and unsure about the future. We need to know that others are going through the same thing."
To get involved, visit TheOutleProject.art, check out the current prompt, and submit!
Follow on Instagram at PowerTheOutlet and on Facebook to see the work others have created.