Mercer Theatre Adapts to Digital Theatre Alternatives with ‘Z-4! Four One-Acts In the Zoom Room’

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In the Zoom Room

MACON – Mercer Theatre, the public production season from Mercer University’s theatre program, presents Z-4! Four One-Acts In the Zoom Room on Nov. 5-7 and 12-14  as a livestreamed production available to view from home.

The usual home where the Mercer Players present plays and musicals — Tattnall Square Center for the Arts — is offline due to the impacts of COVID-19. So, Mercer Theatre devised a more innovative solution for student production work due to the intimate black box’s limited capacity.

Mercer Theatre director Scot Mann decided to lean into the idea of using the videoconferencing mediums people are already becoming familiar with, noting “Students are performing an exciting evening of entertaining one-acts using the ‘COVID Compliant’ medium of Zoom.”

There will be four productions, each with very different themes. Graven Images by Stephanie Buckley takes place in an online public speaking class where a rift in the space-time continuum dooms the students to spend eternity on Zoom. A Mercer student, Celinna Riordan, wrote two of the other short plays. One, Glitch Hunters, involves college-aged hackers attempting to defy the state and save America, while This Town travels back in time for an Old West atmosphere with a street standoff. All three of these are directed by Scot Mann.

The fourth one-act is a special presentation from Mercer alumna T. Cat Ford (’76), now a professional playwright in New York. After recording hundreds of interviews about the integration of Georgia’s Coffee County, Ford developed the oral history initiative, Emerging Voices Project. The play being presented, Out of Order, developed out of two, true-life remembrances of the Belk Hudson’s department store in 1967.  This performance will be directed by Tiara Watkins.

Mann believes the variety and technical aspects will enhance the Zoom environment. “Individual sets and costumes raise the level of fun as the cast tackles time travel, western gun spinning, alternate realities, cyber hacking, and racial inequity,” he says.

The shows will be presented at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available via Mercer Ticket Sales. Regular admission is $15 and $10 for Mercer affiliated students, faculty, and staff.

About Mercer Theatre

Mercer Theatre offers an exciting variety of opportunities for students to explore performance, technical theatre, design, stage management, playwriting, and directing. We produce in the newly developed Tattnall Square Center for the Arts in the N. Logan Lewis Theatre, as well as the expansive, 850 seat Grand Opera House in downtown Macon, GA. Typically, four major productions are produced each year (two a semester) with student showcases and other performance and technical opportunities available through university projects and the touring Broadway Series at Grand Opera House.

Join us in this challenging, exciting, artistically invigorating program where we develop theatre artists in a holistic environment. The opportunities are available the first day you arrive. Visit tattnall.mercer.edu/theatre for more.

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Julia Rubens