Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Virtual Learning by Claire Broome is a perfect play to navigate the chaos of online learning. Life is absurd right now – time to embrace it!
Online learning is a world of its own that doesn’t come with a map. Will Student be able to navigate this world of rotating classes, overwhelming assignments and classmates with initials?
How can anyone make sense of a virtual platform?
Why did we publish this play?
We’re not out of the woods yet with the Pandemic and that means we still want to provide great material for virtual performance. I love the absurd nature of this piece – because it does feel like real life is more absurd than ever. Now is the time to channel all of life’s frustrations with something weird!
1. Why did you write this play?
I had the idea for this play in the fall of 2020, and was going to write it in the summer of 2021. I ended up sharing the idea with my grade 11 class, and they wanted me to write the play for them. We were in the last quad of the year, and my class wanted a fun script to work on. I wanted to write this play to celebrate and laugh at the absurdity of virtual learning. I also wanted to honour the experiences of various students.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The theme of this play is the absurdity of virtual learning and how this experience felt so chaotic.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
I’m not sure how to answer this question, but Student says this line: “Kind of like this puzzle, but I don’t have all the pieces. I keep thinking I see what the picture is, and then all of a sudden, I don’t know if the piece I am holding is part of the sky or part of the sea, or even if the puzzle is a landscape.”
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
This play was meant to be performed online, but it could be performed in person with isolation staging; therefore just keep it simple.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
I hope it is a cathartic experience, a chance to laugh at how ridiculous their experiences have been. Also this is a great chance to play these characters BIG!
6. Why is this play great for online performances?
My advice for performing online is to know that something may go wrong. Wi-Fi can be unpredictable, rehearse scenarios when things go wrong. But online performances are a wonderful platform to explore characters and experiment with ways of creating staging and focal points, even when everyone is on the screen.