There’s nothing like a bunch of teens hanging out together in a virtual chat room to provide the perfect setting for a virtual play!
Looking for a way to cope with sleepless nights, Poppy creates the Insomniac Cybersociety as a safe, online place for awake but tired teens confined to their bedrooms to pass the long night hours of sleeplessness. It’s almost like going to a slumber party every night, with lighthearted conversation between these virtual friends with fun, online pseudonyms such as Night Owl, Third Shift, Tryptophan, Sandman, and Shuteye.
Luckily, Poppy strictly enforces the rules to the private chat room: no personal information, no talking about the time, and no consulting with one another about curing their insomnia.
PLEASE READ ALL OF THE LOGISTICAL INFORMATION BELOW BEFORE REGISTERING
All registered students will be cast in this production.
Every member of the cast will need access to a computer with secure and reliable internet access, and a device, such as a smartphone, computer, or tablet that allows students to record themselves. While it is possible for cast members to use a tablet instead of a computer, they will not be able to see the entire cast on the screen at the same time and may miss out on the group camaraderie of the rehearsal process. For the rehearsals, cast members need to be in a space that is relatively noise-free, where they can perform at full voice and perform movement full-out. Pets, television shows, and siblings are all great, but sadly background noise and distractions hinder an effective rehearsal process.
All cast members must audition to be cast in this virtual production.
A Zoom group monologue audition session will be held on Monday, August 3rd from 3:00-4:30. All cast members will attend for the full session.
If a student is not able to attend the group auditions, they may record their monologue and upload it to YouTube. Share the link to the video with us by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Tuesday, August 4th at 12pm.
Prepare a 1 minute, memorized monologue, poem, or excerpt from a book. Be creative and find a book in your house. It’s more important that the monologue is memorized than it is for the monologue to be extensive.
Auditionees should take the time to memorize their monologue so they are able to showcase their best acting skills rather than focusing on remembering words.
Please “slate” at the beginning of your audition, whether that’s at our group audition in the Zoom meeting or whether you email us a video audition. State your name, age, and the name of the piece you are performing in your audition.
Example 1: My name is Cyndi, I’m 15 years old, and I’ll be performing a monologue called The Magician.
Example 2: Hi, my name is Derek, I’m 17, and I’ll be performing a monologue from the musical 13.
Monologues for kids and teens
All cast members will be asked to submit their scheduling conflicts with the rehearsal schedule before we announce the cast list. A very limited number of pre-approved conflicts will be accepted if submitted before the cast list has been posted. Casting will be based, in part, on the cast members availability for all scheduled rehearsals. NO CONFLICTS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR REHEARSALS August 19-21. Cast members MUST be available for all performances. Please email any rehearsal conflicts to the stage manager at email@example.com by Monday, August 3rd.
Zoom rehearsals for Insomniac Cybersociety will be held Monday-Friday from 12:30-2:30pm August 10-14 and 17-21.
All performances will be virtual (online) via Zoom. Performers will be called for online warm-ups 1 hour prior to performance time.
Performance 1: Friday, August 21 5:00pm Pacific time
Performance 2: Saturday, August 22 12:00pm Pacific time
Performance 3: Sunday, August 23 2:00pm Pacific time
Tickets for performances will be available for purchase at www.upstartcrowstudios.org beginning August 10th.
Insomniac Cybersociety Roles
(In Order of Speaking)
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
VOICE (audio only)
NINJA OF THE NIGHT
* All roles are gender non-specific
A note on virtual theatre from Pioneer Drama Service (the publishers of Insomniac Cybersociety)
ABOUT VIRTUAL THEATRE
Virtual theatre is a new and exciting art form that is just beginning to evolve and reveal its potential. Just a short time ago, no one would have conceived of trying to perform a scene, let alone an entire play, with every actor isolated in their own home. And yet, it’s happening… with surprisingly positive results.
This play is written specifically for the characters to be communicating electronically, without face-to-face dialogue, yet still interacting with each other in real time. This unique quality creates the ideal scenario to perform them on Zoom, Google Hangouts, or a similar digital platform.
Even though the audience will be watching the performance on a screen, this is still a theatrical play, not a screen play for a movie. Cinematic elements such as camera angles, shifts in lighting, elaborate sets, and close-ups on an actor’s facial expressions are beyond most people’s skills. Yet these productions are like movies in that the camera becomes a tool that helps us create our characters. As actors, we need to learn to play to that, even as we sit in front of our laptops.
By necessity, blocking is quite limited in virtual theatre, elevating body language—facial expressions, gestures, posture, and body positions—to a heightened level of importance. For instance, facing the camera directly is the strongest body position, but this should never be a static pose. You can create a more nuanced performance by adopting other positions, such as a one-quarter front position, facing partially left or right. If two actors face one another in full profile on the screen, it will create the sense that they are sharing the scene. For even more dramatic effect, a three-quarter back position so that only your shoulder and one side of your head is visible can suggest weakness, hurt, or anger.
Clearly, virtual theatre is far more than storytelling on camera, and there’s a world of acting still to be done to add depth and meaning to the words you’re speaking, even without a traditional stage.