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🖤 IGTV 🖤

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Just becuase the RECTANGLES live performance season has wrapped (weekly shows ran in Zoom May 9 - Aug 15 2020), doesn’t mean it’s over.
Video versions of each episode are coming soon!

Brand New Dance • S1 E1

The RECTANGLES Season One series premiere begins at a University arts department in 1965. Art major, Rectangle, has a musical premonition. Rectangle’s psychic vision is about dance in the future and occurs during a visit from best friend, Quopal, a writer and college dropout. Music majors, RZO and Fick express dissatisfaction with sharing space with art students.

Rectangle.................Brittney McClendon
Quopal.....................Alexa もえ Downing
Husht............................Mieko Gavia
Fiktish...........................Anna Zhang
Rardin........................Erika R. Moore
RZO.............................Maria Forero
Choreography..................Erika R. Moore
Drums.......................Nishta Venkatesh
Stage Manager..................Gabriel Sacco
Writer+Director...........Miranda J Friedman

Music inspired by: "Locomotion" by Little Eva

Episode 1: Brand New Danc

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One-Way Mirror
 • S1 E2

Paola, a painting major in 1970, helps her beaux and professor, Dr. Isaacs, prepare for an opening at his gallery. The RECTANGLES cast sings with Paola through her confusing ambivalence towards Isaacs' co
ntrolling and diva-like behavior.

Kimi Palacios...................Paola
Juliet Morrison............Dr. Isaacs
RZO......................Maria Forero
Fiktish....................Anna Zhang

Drums................Nishta Venkatesh
Stage Manager...........Gabriel Sacco
Writer+Director....Miranda J Friedman

Music inspired by:
"Be My Husband" by Nina Simone + Andy Stroud

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Interested in Topics
 • S1 E3
[performance recording coming soon]
In 1976, Paola and fellow art alumna, Adine—a student who started at the University at age 40—weigh independence with loneliness alleviation as they discuss relationships and conspiracy theory. Music instructor and professional drummer, Professor Husht, questions if her irritation with colleagues and environmental factors is a deeper issue.

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Celebrity Figure Drawing
 • S1 E4
[performance recording coming soon]
Rectangle, the host of talkshow, RECTANGLE’S TOMORROW, and former student of Dr. Isaacs, visits Gallery M. Isaacs for a portrait in 1979. Paola creates two vibes, one is intentional, and one is accidental and gets her in trouble.

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Waking Up Alone + Liking It!
 • S1 E5
[performance recording coming soon]
At the 1979 opening of Dr. M. Isaacs’ solo show, discussion is stirred about the artist’s privilege amongst music students, Rardin, RZO and Fick. Paola defends her choice in literature.

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Listen to the Drummer
 • S1 E6
[performance recording coming soon]
In 1981, Rectangle welcomes best friend and best-selling author, Quopal, onto Rectangle's Tomorrow as a guest to promote a new book that calls out a past acquaintance and nods to the real-life Fran Lebowitz. Sensing that the world may be in danger of more than Mercury in Retrograde, Rectangle makes an impulsive announcement.

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Country Lane • S1 E7 
[performance recording coming soon]
Rectangle, now the host of the 1985 major network late night talk show, Rectangle’s Tomorrow, reminisces with Husht, former professor and now the show’s one-drummer band, The Faculty. In a 1969 flashback when Husht was a music professor and Rectangle was a student, a department gift exchange gives sneak peeks into Rectangle’s extra sensory inclinations, Husht’s stardom and Sister Ellen’s childhood.

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Hot Flashback
• S1 E8
[performance recording coming soon]
Husht and Rectangle continue to reminisce, this time to a 1970 student protest when two students come out to the world during a heated speech. Sister Mary Ellen asks students, Rardin and Adine, to plan her funeral.
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In this Frame • S1 E9 
[performance recording coming soon]
In 1994, Husht and Rectangle tie racial capitalism to Independence Day. A secret is revealed at a 1997 faculty and student reunion hosted by Adine. Husht shares music goals for the future with Rectangle.

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I’m Gonna Use That • S1 E10
[performance recording coming soon]
In 2010, flight attendants, RZO and Rardin, collaborate on an album with their former professor, Husht. While consulting for Sister Mary Ellen and founders of power addiction rehab centers across the US, Quopal investigates a sex trafficking ring. Rectangle interviews Sister E and Quo on Rectangle’s Tomorrow to spread awareness about all of it.

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• S1 E11
[performance recording coming soon]
In 2012, Paola performs an unfinished portrait for Manuel Diaz on talkshow, Rectangle’s Tomorrow. Rectangle also welcomes RZO, Rardin and Fiktish to promote their tour with former professor, Husht.

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• S1 E12
[performance recording coming soon]
Husht brings former students, Rardin, Fick and RZO on a 2015 tour to Beijing. A government ban forces the three flight attendants / musicians to head to the US Embassy.

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Millennial Manifestation • S1 E13
[performance recording coming soon]
Talk show host, Rectangle (Brittney McClendon), insists on social distancing before the official shelter-in-place order. So in February 2020, Rectangle and Quopal share their friendship origins with artist, Paola (Kimi Palacios), for her current project.

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No Dishtowels
• S1 E14
[performance recording coming soon]
Flight attendants, RZO (Maria Forero) and Rardin (Erika R. Moore) work during the chaos of the March 2020 spread of COVID-19 as Unified Air is packed with passengers flying to their respective shelters. One is Quopal (Alexa もえ Downing) who has an unexpected flirtatious encounter. Will either flirter remove their mask to reveal their face?

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Playing Cards
• S1 E15
[performance recording coming soon]
Husht (Mieko Gavia) and RZO (Maria Forero) open The Faculty virtual concert with a discussion about immigration laws. Rectangle (Brittney McClendon) considers friendship ideals.

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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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RECTANGLES is a 15-episode weekly live performance series that uses Zoom in a way that the platform wasn't intended to be used. A group of performers and artists bring comedic relief in this show which traces the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic as an impending place of penance back to 1968 America. The series travels through glitches, lags and premonitions to follow a group of students, faculty and staff at a university art department over time.

+ + + +  a  H E A D S - u p  + + + + For those with aversions to low quality video and lo-fi sound: Some of the characters themselves are living glitches in society and in patriarchy and norms in this world tend to lag.

Over the next few months, the series invites Zoom attendees to follow characters from 1965 to 2025 as they explore various ways of addressing their own loneliness with friendship, resentment, love and creativity. The story begins in a university art department and travels through showbiz and back to your couch.

As the idea of public and private space has changed over time, physical distance amongst populations and individuals has fluctuated. Yet, the room to treat one another with respect remains the same vast abyss. The RECTANGLES project is free to attend. Closed captions available.

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Rectangle…Brittney McClendon
Quopal……………Alexa もえ Downing
M. Isaacs…………Juliet Morrison
Paola…………………………Kimi Palacios
Sister Mary Ellen…Zoelle Annora Zer0
Husht………………………………Mieko Gavia
Fiktish……………………………Anna Zhang
Rardin……………………Erika R. Moore
RZO…………………………………Maria Forero
Adine…………………Isabelle Garbani
Pat………………………Criss Constantin
C R E W  +  M U S I C

Choreography……Erika R. Moore
Drums…………………Nishta Venkatesh
Piano…………………………Kimi Palacios
Violin………………Criss Constantin
Guitar………Zoelle Annora Zer0
Stage Manager……Gabriel Sacco
Writr+Dir…Miranda J Friedman

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As video conferencing grid layouts automatically generate participant window sequences, viewers and performers will 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 the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic 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 today’s couch.

This secondary storyline satirizes its own examination of the possibility that humanity’s been bad and mankind is grounded now. What if the current state of isolation and tragedy is the bedroom we’re sent to to think about what we’ve done wrong to one another and how we can be better. Sure, this isn’t true of every human.

But character dynamics in the narratives will touch upon the idea that increase in surveillance and personal privacy relinquishment that has come with the Digital Revolution has not resulted in an increase in altruism, public apologies or other acts of kindness.

Shot while practicing social distancing by method of each actor filming themselves, 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 asks, How does social distance affect the golden rule? 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. However, might time in solitude result in a temporarily kinder world? Or will a potential post-pandemic excess of love take the form of another baby boom?

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?

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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.