Solas Nua puts ‘Being Here’ on pause to address protests for racial equality

A show conceived about social distancing to reflect current social shift.

From Artistic Director Rex Daugherty June 9, 2020:
Dear friends of Solas Nua,
I wanted to let you know that we are pausing our production of BEING HERE to give the artists more time to make the project better reflect our current state of affairs.
When we originally set out to create the play, we were making a show about social distancing in the time of COVID. When we started BEING HERE rehearsals in June, however, the national conversation drastically shifted.
The team of artists and I believe that the protests for racial equality that have ignited our city and nation should be addressed in the play. We will be pausing production for the time being in order to reflect on a new direction for the project.
I truly believe it will be better than before, and I look forward to returning with a dynamic piece of digital theatre.

Solas Nua debuts ‘Being Here,’ a new live digital experience

Originally published May 19, 2020

DC-based Solas Nua, a multi-disciplinary arts organization dedicated to contemporary Irish arts, is celebrating their 15th anniversary season this year. They will kick it off with a completely new experience for their audience and contribute to the digital theater landscape with a newly commissioned play, Being Here. This bold semi-interactive work captures the isolation that people around the world are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Solas Nua hopes that audiences will tune into the production to enjoy a live performance of a play specifically written for the online platform.

Solas Nua Artistic Director Rex Daugherty shares, “I’ve been thinking about what makes digital theater actually theater, and I keep returning to the idea that it needs to be experienced live. But how can audiences share a live, intimate experience without proximity? I’ve seen a lot of archival productions being streamed, which has been a wonderful way the arts industry has quickly responded to the global pandemic. What excites me about Being Here is that this has been created with the digital medium in mind from the ground up. The production will be a live-digital performance, with mild audience interaction involved. This show doesn’t work without an audience. That’s what makes theater special, and that togetherness is what we’re all longing for during this time of isolation.”

Over their 15-year history, Solas Nua has garnered a reputation for innovation in nontraditional theater spaces, which earned them the prestigious DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts. They have staged 11 site-specific productions, with locations including private residences, the Georgetown Swimming Pool, an under-construction office building, The U-Line Arena/parking garage, a floating pier on The Anacostia River, cocktail bars around the city, and many more diverse locations. These productions have set box office records, been praised by The New York Times and The Washington Post, and garnered Helen Hayes nominations and awards. And now, Solas Nua is thrilled to be a pioneer for digital theater experiences.

Being Here will run online June 18 – 28, and runs 45 minutes, with a ticket cost of just $20. Solas Nua will share a Zoom invite code for admittance, and you can take part in the interactive bits, or feel free to refrain. You can view the full calendar and purchase tickets on the Solas Nua website. Proceeds from tickets will go to support the company and the artists involved during this difficult time.

Being Here creative team: Navid Azeez – audio/video designer, Rebecca Wahls – associate director/producer 

Solas Nua, “new light” in Irish, is the only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to contemporary Irish arts. From their base in Washington, DC, their mission is to bring the best new Irish artistic talent to American audiences. They are celebrated in Ireland for award-winning work that nurtures emerging talent and provides Irish artists with a supportive, warm, and compelling forum in the United States. They are recognized in Washington, DC, and beyond for being dynamic and innovative, and for making a substantial and unique contribution to the artistic and cultural richness of each city, within and outside the Irish-American communities.


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