Theatre Replacement co-artistic director Maiko Yamamoto and 12-year-old son Hokuto MacDuff perform together in MINE.
Theatre Replacement co-artistic director Maiko Yamamoto and 12-year-old son Hokuto MacDuff perform together in MINE.

Another Vancouver production is moving to the virtual world as the Theatre Replacement production of MINE will be broadcast live on Facebook and Twitch for three performances this week.

What makes this transition from stage to digital particularly ironic is the show itself takes place in the online world of the popular videogame Minecraft.

“Rather than ironic, maybe it’s just especially poised,” says Connor Wylie one of the co-creators and stars of the play that explores the role technology plays IRL in the relationship between parent and child.

While it uses some of the technology already employed in the show itself, this will be the first time Theatre Replacement will live stream a show. Like other arts groups affected by the closure of their shows because of the COVID-19 health crisis, the decision to go online has all taken place in just a couple of days.

“As many in the performing arts, we have been making decisions day-to-day,” says Wylie. “We started discussions with Heather Redfern at The Cultch on Monday about the possibility and are now busy preparing.”

To minimize the risk, the team involved in broadcasting from The Cultch’s Historic Theatre will be limited to the core team only. “The kids who are also part of the show will be joining remotely in-game and connecting via audio in order to have the smallest team due to social distancing,” says Wylie.

The virtual performances will be free to watch although Wylie says there will likely be a donation button to offset costs and recoup some of the expenses from having to close the production early.

“While we appreciate those who can contribute, we want to make it accessible to everyone,” says Wylie. “Personally, with everyone practicing social distancing, I and so many others are craving to connect.”

The live stream of MINE can be viewed on both the Theatre Replacement Facebook page and on its Twitch channel on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 at 7:00 pm Pacific, and again on Saturday, March 21 at 2:00 pm Pacific. MINE is built for adults and kids over 10 years.