Visionary Futures

UMass Amherst, April 2021

streaming producer, kyra bowie smiling inside a green bordered circle

Kyra
Says
.... ....

This project was a game-changer for me. It was the first fully-produced digital work that I was running. Leanna and I were transferring scene collections for this process and the craziest plot twist was the amount of OBS plug-ins that were different between PC and Mac systems. My favorite effect was having three performers sitting at a conference table and being able to move in their chairs as if they were really spinning. Not to mention the content was AWESOME!
streaming producer, leanna keyes smiling inside a green bordered circle

Leanna
Says
.... ....

I love it when shows call for design that would be nigh-impossible on stage but can be achieved virtually. We got to turn actors into holograms, into hashtags and ASCII art, we got to send them to space in rocketships–and we did it all live. I’m a big sci-fi nerd so getting to design my own futures was awesome!

Visionary Futures

Fully digital productions of science fiction theatre for social justice movements.

This piece was the first full production Kyra and Leanna worked on together. All performers were provided with the technology Transcend Streaming recommended. This included webcams, green screens, headphones, and lighting. 

Gender Experience TM, by M Sloth Levine, posits a future in which the definition of gender has expanded beyond our current understanding and can be made manifest through new technology. What would you do if there were no limitations on your gender experience?

Unity, by Phaedra Michelle Scott, depicts a future in which the people of an overcrowded, ever-warming Earth have begun to explore new worlds in the hopes of finding a new place for humanity to thrive, even at the expense of alien populations.

Directed and conceived by Josh Glenn-Kayden at UMass Amherst in April 2021, this project took its inspiration from the anthology “Octavia’s Brood,” which explores the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. 

 

UMass commissioned professional playwrights to each write a 30-minute play of visionary fiction that confronts urgent issues of our time. Each writer had been paired with an activist whose work intersects with the play’s subject matter. These writer/activist teams collaborated to create work that is visionary in its approach while also grounded in contemporary activist thought. The plays, written to be performed digitally, were in conversation with each other and presented three different visions of future worlds.

Visionary Futures Creative Team:

Josh Glenn-Kayden – Conceived/Direction

Tatiana Godfrey – Dramaturgy

Transcend Streaming – Streaming Producer

Chenoa Albertson – Costume Designer

Josh Glenn-Kayden – Sound Designer

Gilbert McCauley – Directing Advisor

Yao Chen – Costume Design Advisor

Amy Altadonna – Sound Design Advisor

Becca Cottrell – Stage Manager

Olivia Darling – Assistant Stage Manager

Sena Yacteen – Assistant Stage Manager


Visionary Futures features the following performers:

Darrow Sherman, Mei MacQuarrie, Carolyn Parker-Fairbain, and Jackie Chylinski.