March 2020. As California entered a “stay at home” order due to the coronavirus pandemic, UC Santa Barbara’s LAUNCH PAD commissioned 24 distinguished playwrights to pen monologues and short plays inspired by the prompt “Alone, Together” and written to be performed live on Zoom. The immediate goal was to create vibrant opportunities for theatre students during the challenging moment when in-person productions at all schools and theatres across the country were canceled and everyone quickly pivoted to remote teaching. The plays accomplished that—and so much more. These 39 extraordinary pieces reflect the moment of lockdown and capture our longing for connection. From Cheryl L. West’s Corona Chicken (Part One) and (Part Two), following a desperate woman’s theft of a chicken and its dark aftermath, to Cheri Steinkellner’s hilarious play The Great Greats Zoom celebration of a 100th birthday, to James Still’s poignant reflection on a life well-lived in Abundance, Alone, Together captures life during the pandemic and beyond. The plays in this collection can be produced in any combination from a single piece to all 39. This volume lists the plays in alphabetical order by author and also includes the “chapters” created for the LAUNCH PAD Zoom Festival. These chapters were curated to provide a rich array of material ranging from comedy to pathos, small to large cast size, and shifting tones. Each chapter runs approximately 90 minutes. While these plays came out of what might be called the Zoom era, they can all be performed on stage as well. This is a collection born of a moment, but one that will live on for the ages.
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This play contains strong language.