A B O U T      🖤      C A S T  +  C R E W

S E A S O N  O N E  🖤  15  E P I S O D E S

D I R E C T O R ‘ S   S T A T E M E N T

As video conferencing grid layouts automatically generate participant window sequences, viewers and performers exist visually in a layout without hierarchy, reminiscent of live performances using planted participants. In relinquishing various degrees of control to the video conference form, the series aesthetic will take on the mutated realities that emerge from technological difficulties and post-Digital Revolution communication norms.
In the background, the series setting traces a virus as an impending place of penance back to 1968 America. Set to the backdrop of America’s false starts towards progressivity over a 50-year period, viewers follow a group of characters from a 1960s-70s university art department, through various 1980s-2000s lifestyles, including showbiz, and back to 2020 couches.

The stories examine the resentment and hostility that builds when people induce closeness to eliminate loneliness, and then practice distance to allow healing and regrowth. The series looks at how spending time away from someone can initiate deeper feelings for that person. Being out of someone’s presence can make you long for them, but it can also make you realize that they anger or irritate you. This delayed effect manifests in various ways amongst RECTANGLES characters.
Does distance make the heart grow fonder? The dysfunction in relationships and general disregard one stranger has for another in public transportation, or in a customer service exchange, for example, may be timelessly cruel. How does “space” or time away reveal true or clouded sentiments?

The characters explore patriarchy via the assertion and performance of its power dynamics and gender norms as prescribed by and dismissed by society and the media. For this reason, the characters skew androgynous or enact traditionally masculine characteristics. Metaphysically, performers apply their own interpretations of the character as the cast and director work together to unpack their own experiences with power and gender.

Just as laws and social change can leave much to be desired, so can the one-step-forward, three-steps-backward oscillation that so often occurs when people let people in as chosen family members. Just as hosting a guest in one’s private home can benefit from preparation, sharing space with mankind can become more sustainable when those in the space prepare with self work.

In this series, interactions amongst friends, lovers and colleagues include scenarios in which characters take for granted those in their most immediate surroundings, persevere through abuse and address irreparable damage. These exchanges are enacted without obscuring the differences in settings that remind viewers that the actors are not in the same room, or, often, in the same state (neither geographically, nor physically. These differences point to the importance for each character to respect the different emotional, cultural and mental states of those with whom they share physical and virtual space. How does physical proximity and convenience provide false senses of closeness? And how does the elimination of those proximities allow time for growth, for increased appreciation of difference, and for understanding?

By leaving bare the seams that might otherwise thread together a scenario, the series examines how a shrinkage in spatial surroundings can lead to opportunities to think about new ways to develop heterotopias.
By allowing the series’ narratives to unfold via audibly and digitally connected characters who exist in physically separate worlds, the series will explore the development that occurs during each character’s contemplation during states of partial cocooning or introversion. This exploration is present in character development of those characters who initially allow resentment and irritation to manifest as abuse or anger and eventually learn to use solitude and distance to reduce selfish behavior and sustain kindness.

Strength in laughing at oneself runs deep in these stories: in its suggestion that friendship looks at the end of the world the same as it did 60 years ago, and in the idea that society has manifested a solution to its own loneliness—a loneliness that occurs when surrounded by people, a loneliness that simultaneously craves and despises isolation, nor can it stand being around people. A sensitivity is applied to the positioning of a public health concern into a comedic framework so as to be careful not to trivialize the lives lost on a daily basis from the pandemic and other public health concerns. The series questions: How does the application of humor to states of crises point to the timeless nature of complicated dynamics in friendships, romantic entanglements and working relationships?

T H A N K   Y O U

The RECTANGLES Team would like to express extreme gratitude to those of you who have supported us with generous donations via the RECTANGLES Eventbrite page. A special thank you to attendees of our weekly performances on Zoom in Summer 2020.

a s k   B I G   T E C H   to  S U P P O R T
R A C I A L   E Q U I T Y

In the fight against racial injustice, RECTANGLES is asking for more from the Big Tech corporations that run our platforms. Please join us in holding one corporation responsible. The link below contains more information about the $10+ MM facebook pledged to an abusive Bay Area police department. We hope that with more signatures on the petition, facebook and other corporations will take responsibility and reallocate funds towards education and affordable housing.

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