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Lauren Bone Noble – Near/Far


    Pictured: The systems for creating ‘Near/Far’ were incredibly complex, with seven systems running over three monitors, all being operated remotely by the Digital Technical Director. The actors, director, and designers were all remote as well, watching rehearsals and recording the process over Zoom.

    A note from the Director – RARE: from the Latin rarus which in the late Middle English translates as ‘widely spaced’. We have all experienced during the global pandemic that is Covid 19, a necessity to space ourselves widely in order to protect ourselves and survive. And yet, in that space of separation we have grown to understand how deeply we need one another. How necessary communion is for our survival. And what is the theatre but a communion? A coming together to experience what it means to be alive. To love. To lose. This is the exploration of our contribution to PQ23, Near/Far. Near/ Far grew out of a desire on the part of the faculty, staff, and students in the department of Theatre and Film at the University of Mississippi to stay in creativity during the height of the pandemic. Our challenge to ourselves was to make a piece of unique theatre that offered our student designers, technicians, and performers an opportunity to practice their craft as safely as we could manage AND to talk about our collective experience during this historic time. As the director of this piece, I felt particularly charged to keep our student designers challenged and our young actors moving and in their bodies. I wanted to resist the temptation to present a Zoom reading or simply be talking heads. And so, we developed a completely new piece of theatre in a completely new way: a performance in Larval Mask, devised, rehearsed, and performed remotely in student’s rooms and homes in front of green screens, recorded over Zoom, and shared via YouTube. Near/Far is an exploration of isolation, loss, and ultimately, the importance of community. The process of creating the show was an exploration in and of itself. In our search for creativity in the time of pandemic, our department stretched the imagination of all of our units: sound, lighting, scenic, costume, technicians, designers, actors, and producers, to create a new form. In that space of risk and creativity we found a way to narrow the widened spaces.

    Production Credits

    Presented on YouTube and Performed in Oxford – MS

    Producer – Michael Barnett

    Playwrights – Lauren Bone Noble and the Students of the Department of Theatre and Film at The University of Mississippi

    Director – Lauren Bone Noble
    Choreographer – Lauren Bone Noble and the Cast of Near/Far

    Scene Design – Wyatt Wood; Faculty Mentor – Cody Stockstill 
    Costume Design – Aryana Gaines; Faculty Mentors – Carey Hanson and Donna Buckley
    Lighting Design – Gianna Shuetz; Faculty Mentor – Yi-Tai Chung
    Sound Design – Peter Wood
    Media Design – Cody Stockstill

    Assistant Costume Design – Ava Greer
    Props Artisan – Jared Spears

    Stage Technical Director – Fel Macias
    Digital Technical Director – Jeffrey Hannah
    Stage Manager – Gianna Shuetz

    Actors featured in Photos

    Jaslyn Ballansaw
    Elizabeth Burrow
    Christian Carew
    Myah Harper
    Isabella Mollega
    Reese Overstreet
    Gregor Patti
    Ashley Wingo
    Catrina Winters