TSP Online Stage
To benefit the Audre Lorde Project
Inspired by real events, THE QUEER WITCH CONSPIRACY is a mystical crime drama about how a bone-stealing witch sparked a revolution regarding race, gender, and spirituality.
This play is interactive in the live Zoom performances, and audience response is included in the plot of the play by using the Zoom chat and polling. The streamed performances are less interactive for those who prefer to simply watch the action unfold.
I don’t live in NYC and am in a different time zone. Will I be able to watch this performance at any time?
For Live Performance (Zoom): To replicate the experience of being in the theatre, the performance will start at 8PM (Eastern Time). Please tune in at that time (taking into account the time difference, as applicable) as you will not be able to pause or rewind the live performance. We will notify all ticket buyers when a stream of the performance becomes available.
For Streamed Performance (YouTube): Once you buy the streaming ticket you will be sent a link, which is immediately active. You may watch the show anytime between June 24-27, 2021, as many times as you wish.
Are the performances taking place online or at The Seeing Place?
As The Seeing Place is closed due to COVID-19, the performances will be hosted digitally. Once you have purchased a ticket for your chosen performance, you will receive a link prior to the show to watch from the comfort of your own home.
I haven't received my confirmation email or the streaming link, what should I do?
You should receive an email immediately after purchasing your ticket, and it will come directly from OvationTix Customer Service with a link to watch the performance. Be sure to check all spam and junk folders first, but if you have not received your link by 10am on the day of the performance please email email@example.com. Note: if you reach out to us AFTER the performance has started, we will not be able to get back to you until after the performance. Please still email us explaining your circumstances, because we can arrange to transfer your live ticket to a streaming ticket.
There are different ticket prices - what does that mean?
These performances are a benefit for the Audre Lorde Project, a non-profit organization. You may support the organization and see the show by getting a $10 ticket. But some people may want to donate more - therefore, there are $25 and $50 tickets available. There are no special benefits for those ticket holders - they simply are able to contribute more to our beneficiary.
I want to see the show, but I feel uncomfortable about my donation going toward this non-profit. What can I do?
We understand. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can give you a way to make a direct contribution to one of our three campaign funds, which will earmark your contribution to another area related to our theater. We will then send you ticketing information separately.
I would like The Seeing Place to get a contribution in addition to my ticket purchase - how do I do that?
First of all - thank you! Choose your preferred show date/time/ticket level, and when you get to checkout, there will be an option to add a donation to your order. This will go directly toward The Seeing Place's Annual Fund.
Is it a different performance each night?
As with all live theater, the Zoom performances are live and are, therefore, slightly different each time. If you want to watch multiple times to see these differences, we'd suggest purchasing a ticket to each performance.
I want to purchase a ticket for myself and a friend in another household in one order. How will I be able to share the link with them?
Prior to the start of your chosen performance, the ticket purchaser will receive an email with the link to the stream. If you have purchased two (or more) tickets, the link can be given to that other person provided it is not shared beyond the ticketed patron.
This play is being presented as a benefit for the Audre Lorde Project. ALP is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, they work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across differences, they seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve their various communities. Click to Donate.
The play opens in the online space of the Queer Witch Facebook group. Admins of the group, Pala, Mabel and Juno encourage the audience and the play’s other characters to change their names to their spirit names and put their ancestral land acknowledgement in the chat box. (One can find out their land acknowledgement by going to www.native-land.ca) The purpose of the meeting is the celebrate the summer solstice but it is quickly derailed by Asriel who asks about why no one is talking about theFacebook posts where a New Orleans group member offered to sell human bones for the cost of shipping. The group quickly devolves as accusations are made, but no one but the moderators know the true story. All that is known is that someone leaked the private Facebook posts onto Twitter, and now the story has gone viral. This makes the group a very in unsafe space.
Elsa (Elizabeth) speaks directly to the audiences as time changes to the present. She admits to leaking the information to Twitter in an effort to catch the offending witch, named Jadis, and keep them from selling any more bones. Flashbacks are used to hear what the posts actually said - which further complicates the accusations. We go back to the online group meeting, who over time discover that the entire meeting has been live-streaming on Instagram. There is a mole in the group, but no one knows who it is.
In the present, Elsa (Elizabeth) admits to the audience that she may have made a mistake streaming to Instagram, taking things too far. She begins to start her own research into the truth behind the bone theft by interviewng Nas, a group member who happens to live in New Orleans. She also interviews Jadis by pretending to be a lawyer, thus getting key privileged information.
After the group is disbanded, Elsa (Elizabeth) interviews the group members, with all lamenting the loss of the group. Group admin Pala decides to call everyone together to reinstate the group with new rules, and promises a special guest will be joining. After new boundaries are set by the remaining group members, Jadis appears and shocks the group by their presence. They first notice Elsa, who they know as their lawyer, Elizabeth. And just as Elizabeth is about to be outed for good, it is revealed that she had turned over the evidence to the police and Jadis is violently arrested off camera. Pala fervently defends Jadis and the group determines that Pala needs to step down. One by one the group members determine that the Queer Witch group is never going to provide the safety and community that they want, and they slowly drop out.
In the mean time, in their guilt and sorrow for all that has happened Pala, Jadis and Elizabeth hold a vigil for Jadis, who had disappeared from the public eye (both online and in life), thus “killing” their spirit. They muse on the importance of pushing for safe and collaborative spaces though they may never be possible.
Reviews and Audience Response for THE QUEER WITCH CONSPIRACY:
“This extraordinary offering is the best Zoom-based work we've seen yet -- it's deeply moving, theatrically entrancing, and politically meaningful. Note that it's available on demand through June 28th. Our highest recommendation for this weekend!” —Ronald Gross, NY Theater Buying Guide
“The Queer Witch Conspiracy compellingly and without sanding off its characters' rough edges traces the fault lines that this controversy exposes within one intersectional community as well as the larger issues of inequity onto which they open...The cast comfortably inhabits these complex characters: alongside Peacock as the group's sympathetically flawed mother wolf and Browne as their somewhat tightly wound second-in-command, Wozniak and Ketter bring, in different registers, some comic moments, while a tense emotionality permeates a pair of scenes featuring Cronican opposite Montoya and Cronican opposite Walker.” —John R. Ziegler and Leah Richards, Thinking Theater NYC
“A Powerful Delivery that Gives Space to Underrepresented Communities in THE QUEER WITCH CONSPIRACY...No spoilers as we consider over here that everybody needs to watch this... What a thrill that this pandemic brought more online performances and Zoom performances that, although they do not beat a live, "sharing breath" in person performance, it surely is thought-provoking and damn well creative. Bravo to The Seeing Place for offering this opportunity to keep the educating conversation going.” —Alejandra Enciso, From Another Zero
“Designed with a precise Zoom delivery in mind, this new captivating play, written from a clever combative stance by Brandon Walker (The People vs Antigone) navigates itself through a convoluted dark pathway through a graveyard in order to reveal the mystical psyches involved...It’s a solidly twisted Zoomed adventure, orchestrated to make us feel, pretty successfully, like secret curious hungry flies on the candlelit wall, desperately hoping for a juicy bit of controversy to spill out for us all to devour with glee. As directed with force by Erin Cronican, The Queer Witch Conspiracy tries with all its might to unpack the mystical controversy that true-to-life spiralled outward with a wildly uncomfortable and fascinating force online over communal, possible misguided, cultural appropriation and the ethical/unethical observance of Louisiana burial rites that ultimately sparked the internal and online revolution that sits and streams before us.” —Steven Ross, FrontMezzJunkies
“There is an incredibly difficult balancing act being beautifully achieved by The Queer Witch Conspiracy... makes for a thought provoking evening of theater.” —Blake Weil, No Proscenium
“I find it a very intriguing use of the platform...This is a lengthy piece but a very intelligent one, which I was quite prepared to watch in stages but then found myself glued to for the entire running time. The use of Zoom for group meetings and clandestine calls as Elsa tries to gain the incriminating information to eject Jadis from the collective, and the reference to social media breaches of Twitter threads and Instagram Live broadcasts, is deftly done.” —Louise Penn, Lou Reviews
“The show is very creative and thought-provoking. I’d be curious to see it staged in a live theatre to see how that impacts the viewing experience.” —EM Reiter, Talk Theater To Me
• FREE WITH YOUR TICKET - Wednesday, June 23 and Thursday, June 24, 2021
(immediately following the performance)
Speakers: The Cast and Creative Team of THE QUEER WITCH CONSPIRACY Theme: Writing Plays for Diverse Casts
This talkback will enable audience members to talk directly to the artists who created THE QUEER WITCH CONSPIRACY about their experiences with the play, how it was rehearsed for Zoom, and its relevance to our modern times.
• FREE - Saturday, June 26, 2021 (1pm Eastern Time, via Zoom)
Speakers: Leah Ramillano and The Outreach Team at The Seeing Place Theme: ACTION STEPS - Making Online Spaces Safe
This talkback enabled audience members to hear community experts talk about the themes of the play and how they relate to our immediate situation in the world. We also brainstormed on ways that YOU can make a difference.
About Our Speaker:
Leah Ramillano (she/her) is a Filipino-American Scenic Designer and Storyteller based in Southern California. She is CAD III Associate draftsperson for Mattel, Inc.'s Tradeshow Service Department and also freelances as a scenic design assistant, scenic artist, and draftsperson. She holds her Masters of Fine Arts in Scenic Design from the University of California, Irvine and is a co-founder of the ever-growing Facebook group "Theater Professionals of Underrepresented Genders." Leah's philosophy is to always align your integrity as a person with your integrity as an artist, and therefore honoring the sacred responsibility of telling stories honestly.
"Theater Professionals of Underrepresented Genders" honors the intersection of theatrical disciplines and identities. It is a place for underrepresented genders, of all races, religions, and abilities, to connect about challenges, successes, questions, and collaborations. It is a place to get and give support as well as hold each other accountable to be allies for each other. This group was born from being the only marginalized and underrepresented gender in the room one too many times and feeling like we were placed in a space that was not shaped for or by us. Their hope is that this will grow into a strong worldwide network, from funding and production, to casting, hiring, and viewership.