By Julie Heinisch
On Thursday night (29/10/20), Studio Brunel presented a Halloween themed livestream showcasing multiple art pieces from different mediums; from poems to monologues and movie trailers to 3d module designs all created with a spooky spin to them. However, this is very different from the usual theatre productions Studio Brunel has created in the last two years. Covid-19 has left the arts sector in a difficult situation as social distancing prevents in-real-life performances.
To still create an outlet for artists, Studio Brunel were planning on creating an online live showcase for a while, one of the producers, Humnah Abdullah explained: “We wanted to do something for 1st term, before 2020 ends. We asked around if anyone was working on stuff that we could be including in a showcase of different mediums of art. Then, later on, I suggested to do a Halloween theme as it was going to be released in October anyway”.
To get a better insight on how such a different production felt like for the creators, I asked Lauren Cook and Ibtisam Boucheloukh (both creative directors of Studio Brunel) as well as Chloe Perrin and Rebekah Valera to give their perspectives on creating for the digital space.
For Lauren the idea of an online showcase was “incredibly daunting at first because live productions are the only thing we’ve ever really worked on but it was a useful and fun experience to have!”. Adding on that she particularly enjoyed the different content created by students from various fields in the Brunel community.
The biggest challenge for Ibtisam was the self-taping as she mentioned: “I wasn’t used to working with that kind of equipment and that added a new layer in the creative process. Doing everything at home also made it feel weird and less official—I almost didn’t even feel like I’d been a part of a “show” until it premiered”. But she did add that she still felt a sense of community and is glad that Studio Brunel took on a new type of creative venture.
Chloe on the other hand embraced the self-taping as it “meant that we didn’t just have one shot to get the performance we wanted, like we would with a live show.”
When asked about creating a performance for the digital space Rebekah responded: “Even though it isn’t traditional theatre, for me it keeps the spirit of theatre- theatre is essentially problem solving and it really came through in this.” Expanding on this she also talked about the loss of an audience reaction but as it was taken in one shot still “allowed the same level of creativity in adlib and improvisation.”
A lot of work went into this livestream and you can tell when watching it, so make sure to check out Studio Brunel’s Halloween Special on their YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfq2G0_k-2U), even featuring one of Brunel Times’ writers Ylva-Marie Obrou. Make sure to follow Studio Brunel on social media to find out about any auditions or projects coming up.