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Lights, camera, livestream!

Work presented by Queen’s University’s Festival of Live and Digital Art recognized as one of top 10 moments in Canadian Theatre for 2020.

During a time when theatres went dark and the performing arts community had to introduce new ways to showcase their talents, a program at Queen’s University pushed forward by moving its unique Festival of Live and Digital Art (FOLDA) online.  

As a result, the Globe and Mail has named a production at FOLDA as a top-10 moment in 2020 Canadian Theatre. Included on that list were the National Ballet of Canada and the Toronto production of Hamilton. 

In its third year, FOLDA is an annual festival held in Kingston in June that exists with the support of The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, The Dan School of Drama and Music, and The Department of Film and Media. Due to the pandemic, it was presented this year in an entirely digital format.  

This year, Miwa Matreyek, a designer, director and performer from Los Angeles, presented three livestreamed works, including Infinitely Yours where her silhouette interacts with animations. It was included in the Globe and Mail’s top 10. 

“Iterative development has been at the core of the curatorial approach to FOLDA,” says Michael Wheeler, assistant professor, Dan School of Drama and Music. “Around a third of the pieces at FOLDA are finished works like Infinitely Yours. Many other works are works in progress as creators experiment with concepts and gain feedback from audiences. It was for this reason we were also excited to see The Chop Theatre's Pathetic Fallacy on the same Globe and Mail list. This show was developed in an iterative creation process at festivals around the world, including two years at FOLDA, before finding a completely digital presentation form working with Rumble Theatre in 2020." 

SpiderWebShow established FOLDA at The Isabel in 2018 with a goal of creating an annual festival for audiences and artists to examine how digital technologies are transforming life performance. Wheeler is also the co-creator and director of artistic research of SpiderWebShowthe first and only nationally-driven performing arts website of its kind in Canada. 

“The inclusion of Miwa Matrayek's work at FOLDA on this list of notable theatre productions emphasizes the shifting nature of the medium that SpiderWebShow has been dedicated to considering,” says Wheeler. “We are thrilled for Miwa and hope it will encourage new audiences to join us each June in an exploration of what live performance can be." 

Read more about FOLDA in the Globe and Mail.