He Invited Us To His Theater Cabinet. And It Was Surprising.


Gelb’s saree, on the other hand, was a sheet cut with painter’s tape and held together with a tie clip.

Small budgets and low stakes are not usually big wins for artists. But it turns out that there’s something irresistible about Gelb’s let’s play moxie and the closet rules. After seeing a Facebook post looking for ideas for musicals, Christian called Gelb “cold” because he was bored with the bigger projects on the pandemic agenda. “All expectations are off the table,” he says, with Theater in Quarantine. McLaughlin chose “Mother Teresa: The Musical” from Christian’s list of “dead ideas”; A few months later, after working “longer hours more joyously than anything else since I was 21” – she is now 29 – the track was released for the first time. “No agents, no contracts, nothing,” Christian says.

For him as well as for Gelb and McLaughlin, The Wardrobe brought back the essential meaning of the fast, collaborative, brutal, uncensored “play” that led them to the theatre. What has blossomed in the Theater in Quarantine, likewise during a pandemic so far, is the new combination of almost complete freedom and almost absurd restraint. Madeleine George “Sometimes unbearable and sometimes liberating, and often these things are one and the same.”

Now the combination is problematic. Trying to push the concept of Theater in Quarantine into a traditional business model, including rents and union agreements, would probably have killed it if it weren’t for the playwrights’ demands for control. (Pulitzer Prize finalist George admits happily, but only temporarily, giving up on the “traditional must get over everything” stance for “Mute Swan.”) A lively, in-person event has already been planned. This summer for Connelly Theatre, the economy eroded when it failed to rationalize. No major new parts were planned. While many ideas for the future have been put forward, Gelb says he does not believe “it will be possible in any other context,” only to some surprise.

It points to a July 2020 show called “.Hypochondriac!” – Based on the work “Imaginary Invalid” by Molière, in which he sat on a floating chair in the air. (It was actually screwed into the wall of the closet, but you can’t be sure when watching.) “For insurance and safety reasons, mounting that chair is something I would never do in a real theater,” he says. “But I have so much control in the closet. I only have as much as I can let go.”

Of course, that was the program that the television fell on.



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