‘Unstable Connections’ brings light and laughter to a Zoom world

Three-part comedic webseries premieres April 15 as part of Muhlenberg College’s Mnemonic Theatre Festival

By: Clarissa Shirley  Monday, April 12, 2021 09:33 PM

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Here in the covid era, Zoom meetings have quickly become the global community center of the New Normal. We go to class, we attend a ceremony, we argue a late fee, we hang out with friends — all from the comfort (and isolation) of our own home. What about the technical glitches, the awkward silences, the frozen faces? Despite the challenges of our new technical realm, we forge bravely on, armed with a wifi router and a yearning to connect.

This sense of longing is where “Unstable Connections” finds its inspiration.

A three-episode webseries, “Unstable Connections” explores the comedy of Zooms gone wrong… and Zooms gone right, as well. Created for Muhlenberg College’s Mnemonic Theatre Festival, the weekly series premieres April 15.

The show’s co-creators, Muhlenberg theater Professor Beth Schachter and guest artist Gertjan Houben, have set out to create contemporary tragicomedies with a core group of actors, all set in different Zoom meetings.

“We are hoping to find some comic relief within the meetings,” Schachter says. “We are all in a serious need of some relief right now, and comedy might do that.“

The fifth instalment in Muhlenberg’s semester-long Mnemonic Theatre Festival, “Unstable Connections” will be available to stream at muhlenberg.edu/seeashow. New episodes premiere Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time. The 13-member company have shared their own experiences in order to devise the content of the show.

The series aims to showcase moments of humor from the stilted constraints of lives lived on Zoom. But the ensemble also hopes to convey their characters’ determination to continue to forge bonds with each other and to make the most of their lives.

“The style of these episodes may have broad physical comedy,” Houben says. “But the characters remain resolutely complex in their humanity.”

Muhlenberg’s mostly-virtual Mnemonic Theatre Festival continues through May. Information on all seven productions in the festival is available at muhlenberg.edu/seeashow

New episodes of “Unstable Connections” premiere Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time, April 15, 22 and 29. Patrons can stream episodes and sign up for reminders at muhlenberg.edu/seeashow.

 

About the Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance Department
Muhlenberg offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. The Princeton Review ranked Muhlenberg’s theater program in the top twelve in the nation for eight years in a row, and Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

About Muhlenberg College
Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college offering baccalaureate and graduate programs. With an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences; selected preprofessional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health; and progressive workforce-focused post-baccalaureate certificates and master’s degrees. Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, approximately 90 miles west of New York City, Muhlenberg is a member of the Centennial Conference, competing in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.