At Home on Zoom, Theatre Shows During the Quarantine TimeJean Lorin Sterian
This article aims to analyse the totality of connections between space, performers and audiences created during artistic performances taking place on the Zoom platform during the lockdown. After Facebook & YouTube live events, these types of show, most often theatre performances but also contemporary dances, poetry shows, concerts, or performance art, became one of the most popular artistic manifestations of March-May 2020. In conjunction with cultural institutions being closed and artists and spectators confined to their homes, the two-month lockdown led to the emergence of a quarantine culture marked by online artistic manifestations. What I call quarantine culture is a kind of homemade culture that involves art performances at home, a theme I have been studying for the past eight years. Here I take up the example of the HomeFest events, which, due to the pandemic, took place on the Zoom platform in 2020. Focusing on the online HomeFest, I examine the differences, as well as commonalities, between the work for a show created for the traditional stage or the black box and the work for the in-house productions broadcast online, where artists have adapted themselves to the domestic, as well as to the virtual space. I explore the interconnections between the elements of the zoom theatre performance (also read as e-homemade culture) while also questioning the relationship between the final work and the cultural market that led to the emergence of e-homemade culture.