Since its inception, Left Edge Theatre in Sonoma County has always been about innovation, so it’s no surprise that the theater company was one of the first in the North Bay to transition to online programming in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that made social gatherings impossible.
As early as April 2020, Left Edge was offering streaming productions of past plays, and new works soon followed, including an online season showcase that ran in May of 2020 and a full season of streaming productions that began in September.
Also in September, Left Edge Theatre put out a world-wide call to playwrights to submit previously unpublished short works of theatre, written specifically to be produced remotely for an online audience. Nearly 200 submissions came in, and the Left Edge staff selected 12 plays to produce for the upcoming Hindsight 2021 online festival featuring performances that will stream Jan. 8 to 17 and be available for on-demand viewing Jan. 18 to 31.
With scripts that come from as far away as Australia and as close to home as Sebastopol, the Hindsight 2021 festival will present its 12 plays in four different episodic groupings for online viewing.
The first group features “Comedies About Technology,” with three plays that directly reference the ongoing switch to virtual living that began at the pandemic’s outbreak in March 2020.
“Get Sexy on Zoom,” by Andrea Aptecker, concerns two single parents who meet on Zoom during a pandemic. But their meeting, which begins as a fun, flirty Zoom chat, devolves into malaise. “Virtual Happy Hour,” by Richard Castle, focuses on technophobe Pam; who is horrified when her best friend brings a digital date to her weekly online happy hour. “Alexa the Liar,” Liar by Guy Newsham, follows a single man who engages his smart speaker to help him find love and gain a promotion.
There is also a group of comedic plays that covers a broader range of subjects like “No Regrets,” by John Minigan, which offers a battle of wits over voicemail; “Surf’s Up,” by Ken Levine, about a father-daughter duo who shake off their button-down life for an ‘endless summer’ adventure; and “An Interview with a George,” by Greg Vovos, about two people on opposite sides of a video job interview.
The other two groupings of short plays includes a selection of three dramas and a selection of three mystery, suspense and fantasy plays. All told, the Hindsight 2021 festival features the work of directors Cindy Brillhart-True, Denise Elia-Yen, Serena Elize Flores, Felicia Freitas, Paige Picard, Argo Thompson, Lulu Thompsxn, Joe Winkler, and David Yen, as well as a cast of over 20 actors performing these 12 works.
The groupings will stream in alternating pairs during evening and matinee performances happening between Friday, Jan. 8 and Sunday, Jan 17. Single night streams will be available for $15, and an all-access pass to all streaming performances is only $30. The performances will then be available on-demand for $10 until the end of the month.
For more info and tickets, visit leftedgetheatre.com/hindsight2021.