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New Ideas Festival 2022

Zoom Theatre Labs
Nicole Arends and Marlo K. Shaw, Producers/Facilitators

During the pandemic, people around the world adapted by moving in-person activities to Zoom, and theatre was no exception. While initially Zoom Theatre was a way of continuing to engage theatre creators during lockdown, it is now a medium unto itself. Zoom Theatre companies have been created all over the world, and they play with different formats and new ways of telling stories.
Your facilitators, Nicole Arends and Marlo K. Shaw, are experienced directors of Zoom Theatre and are passionate about the development of this new art form. These Zoom Theatre Labs are for theatre creators who have experience with Zoom and who want to play and experiment with others who are similarly enthusiastic. It’s also for those who have been involved with Zoom Theatre and feel hampered by its limitations or anyone who is interested in learning more about the medium. Together we will expand our Zoom Theatre toolbox, explore what is possible, and find imaginative ways of using the technology to innovate theatrical expression.
The labs will be collaborative, with brainstorming sessions in small groups as well as discussions with the group as a whole. Each session will have a different focus, so it will stand alone if you can only attend one or two, but we do encourage participation in all three sessions.

Thursday, April 21/7pm-9:30pm EDT
LIVE Streaming (Ticket Required)

Welcome to our very first Zoom Theatre Lab! In this lab, we will explore how to handle scenes that involve touch between characters, including tickling, massaging, and fighting, as well as dancing. Come with your physical movement ideas at the ready!

Thursday, May 5/7pm-9:30pm EDT
LIVE Streaming (Ticket Required)

Our second Zoom Theatre Lab focus on scenes with character interaction in more than one location at the same time. We’ll also work with interactive elements like a food fight, and we’ll play around with ways we can create live effects on screen. So if you have someone at your home who is willing to get in on the fun, invite them in! Bring your ingenuity!

Thursday, May 19/7pm-9:30pm EDT
LIVE Streaming (Ticket Required)

In our third and final Zoom Theatre Lab, we will experiment with technical aspects to incorporate into live Zoom Theatre performances. We’ll play with sound effects and music, as well as creative ways of bringing in still images and videos. We encourage everyone to review the scripts in advance and come with ideas, as well as any files and links that you want to play with in the session. Bring your tech savvy skills!

NICOLE ARENDS has been a theatre director for over 30 years and was very excited to discover that she could combine her stage directing skills with her extensive film knowledge to create Zoom Theatre! She is extremely grateful to Alumnae’s Cyber Reads program for the opportunity to create and innovate in this new medium. It’s connected to her interest in site-specific and immersive theatre methods – it’s all about what the audience experiences! Her online directing ventures include The Elephant Man, The Fighting Days, The Seagull, Eurydice and Arcadia. Other directing credits include The Departure Train (audio play), Just One of the Guys (audio play), Impressionism, and Collected Stories. Website:

MARLO K. SHAW (she/her) has acted in nearly 50 pieces of Zoom theatre since the spring of 2020, and has written, produced and directed several short plays as part of online festivals. Living with a chronic illness that impairs her mobility and short-term memory, Zoom opened a pathway into theatre that was otherwise not available to her. Yet it was when she began directing full-length plays on Zoom with Alumnae that she really began to conceptualise and appreciate Zoom theatre as its own medium, rather than as a mere placeholder while live theatre shuttered its doors. Incorporating sound effects, music, lighting, and always evolving Zoom features, Marlo encourages us to lean into what is possible and, most importantly, play.

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