CareKrisis enables two theatre companies to test a new digital performance format, with live performers from Sakatoya (ID), and live, projected performances by Zoo Co (UK).
They explored the ecological impact of aging populations, and the dilemma that people face regarding whether to have children, contemplating competing concerns about care for the environment vs. the increased need for social care for elderly people.
This video above is a recording from the online performance and discussion of Care Krisis. It is now available to watch in Care Krisis' Youtube Channel that can be accessed through this link: https://bit.ly/YT_CareKrisis
The project and our partnership with Sakatoya was extremely successful and represented a huge learning opportunity for Zoo Co. We achieved our aim of exploring new ways of working with an international company in a live-digital hybrid performance. Both organisations were able to feed off of each other and had equal learning opportunities during the process. This was created by the constant sharing and responding to each other’s digital work. Alongside the partnership with Sakatoya, we were able to work with a large number of deaf and hearing freelance artists who have a variety of experiences. The pandemic has been grueling for the theatre industry, especially self-employed artists, so we are grateful for the opportunity to provide paid work during this unprecedented time. It was a new experience for us to work across multiple disciplines with practitioners from such vastly different backgrounds, skill sets, countries and time zones.
To tackle the logistical challenges of collaborating on a project with a company in another country, Zoo Co and Sakatoya settled on a mixed performance and video model. Each company came up with a story that reflected their culture and responded to the themes of our piece: an aging population and a warming planet.
Both companies would create a film backdrop to be sent for the other company to perform live in front of. Sakatoya created a story about a woman in a care home creating a traditional dish with her nurse, and Zoo Co wrote.
We were fortunate to have Laura Kressly, an embedded theatre critic, present for three days during our process. She observed and named the three working groups creating simultaneously in the room:
1) The production design team working on video projection, videography and sound design;
2) The ‘makers’ creating a short film to send to Sakatoya; and
3) The performers and British Sign Language interpreters responding to the content that Sakatoya had created.
Working in this split-focus way was new for us, although very effective in producing quality work in a short period of time. In her published report about our process, Laura noted that these parallel groups dismantled hierarchy in the room and opened the opportunity for each artist to take on a leadership role at different stages.
Immediately there was a culture of shared ownership through the week that influenced the entire process and final product. Although the week was largely fueled by Zoo Co’s Artistic Director Florence O’Mahony, she has the ability to enable every single person, irrespective of their gender, experience, age or background to take agency over the work being created.