Vespertine // Online

An all new // production happened each month for three consecutive months in 2020, with showtimes every Friday.

In March of 2020 we began designing complex, web-based environments with the goal of creating more fulfilling social experiences online. These creations use a “text adventure” navigational system that requires little bandwidth and is intuitive to operate. We repurposed a variety of existing web-based tools to help fulfill the desires a person may have when attending an in-person show. Our digital venues provide an evocative context for the live-streaming circus and musical events we produce monthly, incorporating elements of filmmaking, live performance, and video-game design.

These events consist of three parts:

  • One hour of pre-show socialization at the theater,

  • A 45 minute streaming circus production,

  • A backstage meet and greet with the cast, which runs until 9:00pm Pacific. AfterlightImage 3

Start times in various time-zones:

  • Hawaii time, Fridays: 3:00pm doors/4:00pm show

  • Pacific time, Fridays: 6:00pm doors/7:00pm show

  • Denver time, Fridays: 7:00pm doors/8:00pm show

  • Chicago time, Fridays: 8:00pm doors/9:00pm show

  • Eastern time, Fridays: 9:00pm doors/10:00pm show

  • Tokyo time, Saturdays: 10:00am doors/11:00am show

  • Melbourne time, Saturdays: 11:00am doors/12:00pm show

Guest Q&A:

Q: Is the meet & greet a Zoom thing?

A: No! In fact, there is no Zooming at all. Portions of the after-show space will include video-chat areas, but there is lots to see and do without ever turning your camera on, too. This event is introvert and extrovert friendly.

Q: Is this an 18+ show?

A: Nope! This event is PG13 rated, with references to alcohol and the potential for strong language, but nothing violent or overly-suggestive. It is designed for adults, but at least as kid-friendly as much of Cartoon Network.

Q: What technology do I need to attend?

A: A computer with a decent web connection and your browser is all you need -we recommend Chrome! For best user experience, a Spotify account also helps (it’s free.) There is no mobile support at this time.

Here’s the official breakdown of supported software for our digital venue:

We have only included components you don’t need to sign up for anything to use, with the exception of Spotify, which is optional.

Q: I’d love to see your show, but can’t afford a ticket to anything right now…

A: Don’t worry! We get it, a lot of people are out of work. For anyone who is able to buy a ticket, thank you, you’re helping us survive and we really appreciate it. For those who can’t: we still would love to have you at the show, send us a direct message and we’ll send you a comp code you can use, no questions asked. ♥

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More about the // series:

The Vespertine Circus’ online productions “//” (2020), took cues from classic video games and was set within a custom-built, evocative narrative environment. The environment was created using an Interactive Fiction style game engine which allowed guests to explore a digital theater from their web browser in an open, non-linear capacity. The Vespertine Circus’ online theater includes artisan vendors, a tutorial bar with drink-making instructions for fine cocktails that can be crafted at home with common ingredients, an interactive show program, a lobby chat-room, and an embedded livestream in place of a stage. The live-stream itself is split between two types of content: realtime and pre-recorded. The pre-recorded portions of the show are acrobatic routines, which are shot from multiple camera angles, edited to allow for things that would be unachievable on a live stage, and treated as pieces of cinema. The real-time portions of the shows include the MC, clowning routines, and musical performances from our featured guest.

Our first // show was a collaboration with cellist, singer, and songwriter Unwoman and was the beginning of an ongoing series of creations developed for online and socially-distanced audiences. The Vespertine Circus produced a new show each month with showtimes every Friday night that ran for three consecutive months. Each show featured a different live musical act, and included routines performed to recordings of that musician’s songs.

After each show, the audience was invited to a backstage meet-and-greet in an even more elaborate digital environment full of virtual social activities, collaborative art spaces, secrets to discover, puzzles, and various kinds of conversational spaces in which guests and cast members interacted.