As the affects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic remain; performers, theatre-makers, and avid performance attendees are facing an existential crisis: "What is our future?" As the world has gone into varying degrees of lockdowns and quarantines, theatre makers, performers, and live event professionals have had a life-long career investment rug pulled out from under their feet -- a career focused on community enrichment and cultural servitude. As long as we continue to think "inside of the box", it will become increasingly difficult for artists and storytellers to find our footing. With the possibility of new viruses arising, along with many unknowns surrounding the current novel virus that causes COVID-19, we must evolve our thinking in terms of how and where future live performances happen safely during future pandemics.
The Performing Arts have been tainted by the social injustices precipitated by the profit-centered structures of American capitalism for too long. Racial inequities, ableism, and marginalization of the poor are currently running rampant within the American performance sphere. To combat these inequities, The Bubble will not be operated under a traditional patriarchal hierarchy common in Performing Arts Organizations. The Bubble will be owned by communities: a public space that is shared by local organizations who engage in live performances and presentations as their medium of expression. The Bubble will be lent to these organizations by way of grants; grass roots funds; organizational funds; local community cultural fund-raising; and non-self-aggrandizing philanthropy. The Bubble will operate utilizing existing local unionized labor with community-based partnerships.
Sitting on about an acre and a quarter of land (depending on existing infrastructure); as designed, The Bubble quickly earns its worth through cultural enrichment and green initiatives. With tunnel functioning auto-sanitizing ADA accessible gender neutral restrooms designed to send blackwater to a filtration system, The Bubble makes waste water suitable for surrounding agriculture. Green Glass technology allows light energy to be captured by The Bubble's dome insulating interior temperature and simultaneously capturing electronic energy to power light and utilities. The Bubble is also designed to consist of Green Concrete, Green Steel, Native Foliage, and Recycled Rubber Composite Materials for ergonomically sound flooring for both attendees and performers.
The unique multi-tiered curvaceous design allows performances to feel intimate while observing social distancing best practices. With each grass patch being at least ten feet from adjacent grass patches, social distancing protocols are easily observed. Ground level grass patches provide ADA compliant vehicle-to-grass patch egress. With each grass patch containing approximately 86 square feet, individual grass patches can seat up to ten family group members brining maximum audience capacity for The Bubble to 220 space-sharing individuals.
While not being utilized as a performance venue, The Bubble will stand as a public park space perfect for getting some fresh air and having a shaded picnic without disturbing surrounding natural ecosystems.
Technically speaking, The Bubble is designed to be a ready-to-go 'plug-in-play' space or a space that can receive specific designs and technical augmentations.
Equipped with four fly batten chain motor systems; scenery, scenic elements, projection screens, and lighting specials can be introduced at will.
Utilizing a tension grid above as well as side positions adjacent spiral stairs, lighting installs and reconfigurations are safe and efficient.
Each audience patch will consist of an artificial turf semi-permeable floor allowing for local embedded speaker systems as well as heating.
A center speaker array will provide sound outputs ideal for live music as well as surround (ambisonic) spatial-related amplification.
Augmented Reality Scenery allows for large scale scenery to visually fill the space using camera computer vision through the mobile device friendly TheBubbleApp.
Two modular vomitorium ramp systems provide ADA compliant access to the stage for performers who use wheelchairs and a dynamic curved ramp system provides artists with additional options for staging.
Actors Equity Approved dressing rooms exist on The Bubble's perimeter.
While The Bubble was conceived as a real-world solution for viral pandemic safe performances, The Bubble will be available as a Virtual Reality Performance Experience derived from the conceptual design. This Virtual Reality Experience will launch on 02•01•2021.
Audience members, using a VR headset or a VR mobile encasement will be able to experience The Bubble in addition to VR performances/installations using the VRChat platform (forthcoming). This experience will be free of charge and will provide a virtual audience with a communal performance experience.
Accessing Virtual experiences at The Bubble will provide audiences with the ability to commune with fellow audience members while experiencing a three-dimensional performance experience beyond the possibilities of reality.
If you or a group are interested in performing in this virtual space, please contact The Bubble here.