If you know and love Mike Wiley as much as we know and love Mike Wiley, then you also know that his shows are at their best when performed in front of a lively and interactive audience. So when the pandemic spoiled his plans, Mike did what he does best and got creative!
How do you make an audience feel like a visceral part of the show when they can’t be in the room with you? Well, you put them in the room with you—virtually. While Mike and gospel singer Mary D. Williams were performing Blood Done Sign My Name on stage for the PlayMakers presentation, they were looking out into a live Zoom audience, themselves projected onto screens large enough to be seen from the stage. This helped make things a bit more like the theatre we’re all used to, where performers and audience are constantly gaging one another in the push and pull of live theatre action and reaction.
During certain portions of the show, this set-up helps Mike call out some folks in the audience by name, as he ordinarily might do by looking pointedly at them. Even Mary gets in on the fun, inviting audience members to sing along with some well-known spirituals like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” We hope you’ll be singing along, too!
Altogether, producing Blood Done Sign My Name for this virtual season has been yet another adventure in exploring the essence of theatre and how we can translate it to fit within a new set of rules. Mike Wiley has found a way to make theatre happen under these strange new conditions and we just can’t wait to share it with you!
Want to get in on the action? Purchase your access to Blood Done Sign My Name before streaming begins on Jan 25 and you’ll save 20%. This limited stream runs through Feb 7 only, so be sure make your plans right away.