Friday, August 7, 2020

You're Virtually Driving Me Crazy! is now available

We've all been forced to adapt in these difficult times. I've been doing my day job from home since March, so I've had to come up to speed on Microsoft Teams and other technical tools to help me stay productive. I've also learned how important it is not to eat a chili beef burrito immediately before going out in a face mask.
Pioneer Drama Service has been forced to adapt as well, and that's because the market for traditional,  live performance plays has taken a temporary but very big hit. Most schools across the country have switched over to distance learning for the foreseeable future so there's little opportunity for kids to perform in front of an audience.

But kids still want to perform, and drama teachers still want to teach them. So what to do? 

Simple. Offer plays designed to be performed over Zoom or one of the other videoconferencing apps. 

Pioneer has taken a particularly strong lead in this area. For most of the summer, they've been cranking out virtual theater plays at the rate of two or three a week.

Sometimes these plays were specifically written to be performed online. Sometimes they're adapted from previously existing plays.

And now, I'm proud to say, they've adapted one of mine.

It's You're Virtually Driving Me Crazy, an adaptation of my hugely popular collection of driver's ed skits You're Driving Me Crazy!

One of the key requirements of virtual theater plays is that they not feature much movement. The plot must be driven entirely by dialogue, and that dialogue must be delivered by stationary actors facing the camera.

Even something as simple as an actor handing a prop to another actor is discouraged as it can be challenging to pull off . The first actor has to hand it off screen and the other actor has to pretend to grab a replica from the opposite side of the screen at the same time and same angle. 

As it turns out, my play didn't need much adapting. Since it revolves around teachers and students in a car, the basic requirements of dialogue and lack of movement were already met.

One character--a walker-toting grandma--didn't make the cut as the walker she needed would be too hard to handle. And a few of the lines had to be changed. But other than that, it's the exact same play.

Ordering info and a sample script are available on the play's web page. As with the original, the four 10-minutes scenes can be performed individually or together.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about this exciting new art form, read or print out Pioneer's free publication, A How-To Guide for Virtual Theatre.