UK theater productions explore pandemic, reflect on experience

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – As the one year anniversary of the pandemic nears, people may find themselves reflecting on the experience.

Two University of Kentucky theater productions explore this by looking at how the theater has changed, and showing how solidarity can be found within the isolation.

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Many have become use to the sight of an empty theatre over the past year. However, Director Stephen Wrentmore didn’t include it in his production, ‘Better Maybe,’ to reflect on what the pandemic has taken away, but rather on what it has given.

“It has within it such optimism,” Wrentmore said. “It’s not just about the idea of theaters closed, but the space in which we re-imagine what theater might be when we move forward.”

Another UK production, ‘(IN)VISIBLE 3.12,’ explores a similar theme, but with barely any words.

“In this moment when there’s such a strong connectivity, sometimes you don’t even have to say [anything] and you understand each other,” Director Yoon Bae said.

As the title suggests, Bae says (IN)VISIBLE 3.12 is  pays homage to the day theaters closed down – a day she remembers all too well.

“This time last year I was in San Diego working on a new play called, “House of Joy,” Bae recalled.

It premiered on the 11th.

“The show that we’d been working on for 8 months plus suddenly closed,” Bae said.

Though Bae and Wrentmore’s piece both explore the pandemic through the lens of the theatre, they say the messages can apply to anything, anywhere.

“This opportunity right now about redefining what the future looks like belongs to all of us, and I think the piece, both metaphorically and realistically, asking to give that a go,” Wrentmore said.

Wrentmore said it all comes full circle because around this time last year, his production of ‘A Mid Summer’s Night Dream” was halted. Now, his students are preparing to film.

Bae is also preparing to release her second adaptation of (IN)VISIBLE on March 12, titled, (IN)VISIBLE 365.