Quantum Streams Psycho-Thriller ‘Wild’ (Tues., 10/20/20)

In 'Wild,' a fictional Snowden clone must confront his inner demons while wondering who's got his back. Quantum streams the play in the intimate-realism style of early TV, with actors Chris Cattell (foreground), Lydia Gibson, and Wali Jamal. (photo: Heather Mull Photography)

In ‘Wild,’ a fictional Snowden clone must confront his inner demons while wondering who’s got his back. Quantum streams the play in the intimate-realism style of early TV, with actors Chris Cattell (foreground), Lydia Gibson, and Wali Jamal. (photo: Heather Mull Photography)

Livestreamed theater moves beyond the Zoom format with Quantum Theatre’s production of Wild, free online starting tonight. Quantum is using realistic methods to stage and stream a political psycho-thriller inspired by real events. Wild, by English writer Mike Bartlett, is a fictional takeoff on the Edward Snowden case. A young computer geek working for U.S. intelligence has turned whistleblower, leaking files that show how the government spies on its own citizens. To avoid arrest, he is holed up in a Moscow hotel room, where he’s visited by two mysterious strangers. They claim they mean to help him, but might in fact be out to break his will and betray him.  

Wild mixes suspense with dark comedy, all unfolding in cage-match fashion within a stage set made up as the hotel room. And for this play, Quantum departs from the Covid-era practice of Zooming together actors in separate locations. The cast of three interact in real space/time on the set. Multiple cameras follow the action. Viewers see the play in a series of continuous cuts between camera angles, just as in a movie—or in the early live-TV dramas of the 1950s. Sam Turich directs. Visit Quantum’s website tonight to catch Act 1 of Wild live at 8 p.m. Tomorrow, Act 2 streams live at 8 p.m., preceded by a videorecording of Act 1. This schedule then repeats through October 25. (MV)