William Oliver III was conducting website traffic, serving to people find their parking places at the 16th Avenue Station in West Oakland.
He went about his operate with great treatment, producing absolutely sure that the parked vehicles ended up just the proper quantity of area from every other and also facing the appropriate route in buy to see the output that would just take spot at the historic practice station.
When all the automobiles have been in line, and clearly show time was at hand, Oliver switched roles and took the phase as the sole actor in Oakland Theater Project’s generation of “Binding Ties: The 16th Road Station” on Sunday night.
Welcome to stay theater in 2021, in which corporations are scrambling to uncover new methods to continue to be afloat and continue to be related by continue to presenting performances in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Numerous businesses and performers have taken their shows on line, making it possible for followers to stream the productions.
Nevertheless, the Oakland Theater Undertaking is pivoting in a further route by offering a full time of travel-in reveals for theater enthusiasts. It is a great deal like the traditional travel-in movie practical experience, but alternatively of observing “Bee Movie” or “Bride of Chucky” on the major display screen fans get to see stay actors doing.
And it’s been a big hit for Oakland Theater Project, with several performances of “Binding Ties,” the season’s 1st featuring, selling out in progress. Moreover, tickets appear to be marketing nicely for the relaxation of the time, which continues in April with an adaptation T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”
Other productions are “Begin the Beguine: A Quartet of Just one Acts” (May 14-June 20), “The Dream Lifetime of Malcom X” (July 23-Aug. 29), “Ghost Quartet” (Sept. 17-Oct. 24) and “sAiNt jOaN (burn/burn/burn off)” (Nov. 12-Dec. 19).
Just after “Binding Ties” — which finished its operate this past weekend — the remainder of the season’s demonstrates will get position in the parking good deal of the Oakland Theater Task at FLAX Art & Style, 1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, in Oakland. For a lot more information and facts, take a look at oaklandtheaterproject.org.
Chalk it up as nevertheless a different way that push-in enjoyment — which experienced its heyday in the ’50s and ’60s — has manufactured a comeback as the coronavirus outbreak as sent folks scurrying to discover social-distancing-friendly signifies of entertainment.
The push-in movies, which was at the time seemed so antiquated in the times of THX this and Dolby that, have mainly been the only video game in city as indoor cinemas have been typically shut all through the pandemic. (Some indoor cinemas have now been permitted to reopen).
The generate-in format has translated around to the dwell music facet, as generate-in live shows have popped up at the Alameda County Fairgrounds and other venues around the final 12 months.
Now, we’re acquiring out that the format is effective with dwell theater as well.
Really don’t misunderstand that former assertion. No one is expressing that it is as great as seeing a perform in a standard functionality place, the place you truly experience the excitement of the group and hook up with the actors. But it positive can be a fantastic alternative to paying yet another block of time searching at your computer or cellular system as you stream written content.
Moreover, there are some definite positive aspects to the push-in practical experience that you just just can’t (or wouldn’t want to) replicate in an indoor theater. For instance, you can appreciate a entire-on picnic mid-effectiveness, without the need of acquiring to fear about the dreaded noisy unwrapping of the meals or the amplified crunch of chips. Will need to send a fast textual content at some issue? Nicely, it’s not going to trouble the people today in the car or truck following to you. Volume also loud or as well delicate? You can change it by yourself, since the audio is currently being piped in in excess of an FM channel on your possess automobile stereo.
And in the circumstance of “Binding Ties,” even the very best set designers in the organization couldn’t properly replicate this spectacular backdrop in a theater.
With because of apologies to Oliver — who does an exceptional position in the function of the narrator — it is the Beaux-Arts building by itself that is the accurate star of the demonstrate.
“Binding Ties: The 16th Road Station,” which was conceived and made by Oakland Theater Project’s resident lights designer Stephanie Anne Johnson, functions as a time machine of kinds. Using taped interviews, historical narratives and photographs, as effectively as Oliver’s stay storytelling, this generation relays the story of previous Southern Pacific Railroad workers and the migration of Oakland’s Black and immigrant communities in the early component of the 20th century.
It is a story that would be intriguing in any setting. Nonetheless, it is also 1 that is magnified, probably exponentially, by the on-web page placing.