How do you get people to see theater in a Bronx cemetery at three in the morning? Don’t tell them where they’re going.
Two shows at COIL this year use new media technology to manipulate existing materials to stage a “what if” event. But, despite their appearances, both performances end up with very human stories and rather conventional forms of theater.
Sitting in the audience for the performance of Ann Hirsch’s “Playground” at the New Museum last week, two things came to mind: one, that Hirsch had managed to trick a bunch of art school kids and fans of her often web-based art into coming to a very conventional theater production; and two, that the plot of her play felt a little conservative, despite Hirsch’s larger body of work that seeks to question representations of female minds, bodies, and sexualities on the internet.