June 22, 2020

The Show Must Go On


The Show Must Go On
Our Minecraft skills aren't nearly this impressive. Screenshot, YouTube, G.A. Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater.

St. Petersburg's G.A. Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater, faced with the impossibility of performing during the coronavirus pandemic, found an inventive way to show their abridged version of one of Anton Chekhov's masterpieces.

The theater used the extremely popular online game Minecraft to perform the show, with actors speaking in real-time as their online avatars moved across the stage. While only 90 attendees were able to fit in the in-game theater, many more joined the broadcast on the theater's YouTube page.

The theater, costumes, stage, and set were all painstakingly recreated in the online game. The performance was complete with all the hallmarks of Russian dramatic arts: three chimes to mark the start of the show, a reminder that recording in the theater was prohibited, and an admonition to turn off one's phone.

See the show, and a short tour of the meticulously-recreated virtual theater, here.

Minecraft has certainly found its use in the midst of the pandemic; one of Moscow's most prestigious universities has also turned to the online game to allow students to meet.

Meanwhile, we're still using wooden pickaxes.

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