Arts Singapore

Preview: Waiting For The Host by Pangdemonium!

Screenshot 2020-09-15 at 11.23.56 PM

Following their collaboration with fellow local theatre giants W!ld Rice and Singapore Repertory Theatre on short film The Pitch,  Pangdemonium! has announced a brand new virtual theatre production set to premiere online this October.

Written by Marc Palmieri, Waiting For The Host is a new play written specifically to be performed and enjoyed online, on Zoom, perfect for the digital theatre era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Uniting a group of would be thespians online, watch as they attempt to stage a Passion Play, rehearsing in safely socially distanced cyberspace. But well, as with any group of dramatic types, things are about to get distinctly catty, as dirty laundry is aired, sacred secrets are shared, and the drama unfolds into an unholy comedy of errors of Biblical proportions. And that’s just in Part I. Come back again for Part II: Still Waiting after a 15 minute interval, where, having become a viral cult phenomenon, they decide to emerge as a bona fide theatre troupe, creating an original play about the Creation, with a little help from a surprise guest.

Commenting on the decision to stage this play, Pangdemonium released a statement, stating: “The theme for our 2020 Season was “Evolution”, celebrating Pangdemonium’s ten years of growth and change. While streaming several of our past productions online, we were always determined to keep creating work through this period. It became increasingly evident that we would need to adapt to the fast-changing landscape brought on by the pandemic, and that as a theatre company we would need to find ways to harness digital platforms to keep telling stories. We spent many weeks researching and experimenting with various iterations of online theatre, and all the while sourcing for stories that wanted to tell. And we finally found one that ticked all the boxes for us: a play that is timely, topical, thought-provoking, and also has heart, humour and humanity – all the hallmarks of a Pangdemonium production.”

For Pangdemonium, Waiting For The Host was precisely that play they were looking for. “It sheds light on how some people are not merely surviving and “waiting”, but are trying to make the best of the situation by taking some action to be productive and positive. It is funny, truthful, insightful, and surprisingly poignant and profound. On top of that, this play actually is about the creation of a piece of digital theatre in these socially distanced times, and we believe it will speak to us all in meaningful ways.”

Having experienced and encountered the difficulties various companies have gone through performing ‘live’ over Zoom, such as technology failing mid-live-stream, Pangdemonium has decided to instead stream a pre-recorded version of the performance to ensure the best audio/visual quality, and also to tell the story in the most dynamic way. Following two weeks of remote rehearsals conducted completely on Zoom, the cast will be shooting the actual Zoom interaction between the play’s characters in real time, before collating and editing the footage into its final form.

Directed by Tracie Pang and starring Mina Kaye, Neo Swee Lin, Petrina Kow, Adrian Pang, Gavin Yap, Keagan Kang, and Zachary Pang, watch as this hilarious, poignant, and ultimately inspiring production gives us all a much-needed touch of humanity within this surreality, where human touch has become a virtual unreality.

Waiting For The Host will be streamed online via SISTIC LIVE every Thursday to Sunday, from 15th October to 1st November 2020. Tickets available here

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