The theater industry was one of the hardest hit because of the pandemic. We went from roaring applause to deafening silence overnight and with no end in site, we had to figure out how to keep theatre alive without a live audience.
We were all forced to become experts in video and audio production as well as learning to perform in front of a camera, and as enjoyable as it was to be able to watch actors and singers once again, there was still something missing. It was no different than sitting in front of a TV and texting with your friends. It filled a void but it still didn’t feel like going to the theatre.
There had to be a way to keep the best of both worlds: the pleasure of hanging out in the lobby before and after a show and talking with your friends as well as the ability to have a performance viewed from anywhere in the world and the Jill Edmund Virtual Theatre was created.
In a virtual world you could now enter the lobby of the theatre before the show, find an empty seat and talk with your friends, then move to another section of the lobby to talk with another group of friends just like in real life. Then after the show, hang out in the lobby and perhaps have a chance to talk with the performers in the show or discuss the performance with your friends once again.
We wanted to create as close to a real life experience as possible in the virtual world. Will it replace live theatre? Of course not, but you can now come as close as humanly possible while sitting in front of your computer.
Jean-Paul Yovanoff & Laurie Glodowski