Hey, Hidden Roomies, it’s Beth Burns here, Artistic Director for the Hidden Room Theatre, and we’ve got some exciting news that we hope you’ll get a kick out of. Before we get there, I want to reassure you that Hidden Room is okay. And everyone inside of it is currently okay. From all of us, we just wanted to make sure that you know that we’re thinking of you, and that we are with you in these difficult times.
I think that art has always been a part of making life more joyful, and in times of adversity, art can ease, it can inspire, it can comfort, and connect. We take this responsibility very seriously, so we have been working quietly to do just that. Until now, when we can finally make some noise about it!
9 years ago when Hidden Room started work integrating networked technology and theatre with “You Wouldn’t Know Her” and “Girl With Time in Her Eyes,” – those plays were driven by our embrace of story telling in more accessible ways. We knew then it would be important for theater to evolve, but we had no idea we were actually laying early groundwork for this particular moment where gathering together digitally would become a necessity.
Building on that early experimentation, we have a new project I’m incredibly proud of: The Hidden Storybook. It’s theatre that will be delivered to individuals via smartphone app that we hope will fire your imagination, and keep you moving. We plan to release a beta test to a small group of our Hidden Room family, and we really hope that you’ll help us by playing and giving us your feedback. We think it’s going to be so much fun. Much more to come on that.
Next, we’re adapting the Hidden (class)Room to help support online learning as well as entertainment. We’ve already begun providing free online workshops for any teacher who requests it, so please send your teachers our way and the next step is for us to start recording significant plays from culturally diverse origins that are either often taught, or that we believe should be taught. Great plays that can foster a lifetime of deeper enjoyment of the arts, and that increase representation, empathy, and a feeling of connection to our fellow humans. These radio-style plays will come along with along with dramaturgical commentary and study guides, and they’ll also be available to the general public. We know it doesn’t replace live performance, but we hope it will encourage listeners to just close their eyes and imagine, put themselves in different shoes, and value the experiences of others through some really exceptional drama.
Here’s a crazy marker – Happy anniversary to us! We turn 10 this year, and we were originally going to have a big blow out cocktail speakeasy, and it was going to be tons of fun. In lieu of that, please be on the lookout for our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for a week-long online commemoration of what we’ve achieved this last 10 years together. That’s going to culminate with some fun opportunities for us to socialize together.
Finally, I just want to let you know that we miss you. And we hope that you know that Hidden Room is not just a place to go for theatre, but that we are your friends. And that if you want to talk to someone, if you want to hear a quiet sonnet just for you, you want to talk Shakesnerd stuff, if you just miss us back, please just reach out. Call us. Write us. Let us know what you need art-wise, and just practically. Whatever it is, please drop a line [email protected], and we’ll do everything in our power to connect with you, and help you however we can.
That’s it from us. We love you guys. Happy 10th year anniversary, Hidden Roomies. Now let’s take good care of ourselves, and take excellent care of each other.