“Return the Moon” is a new Zoom-based show by immersive and experimental theater leaders Third Rail Projects. The creators of the astonishing and long-running “Then She Fell,” Third Rail has dreamed up an imaginative, interactive, entirely virtual performance that celebrates the moon, nights, togetherness, and making connections. As an online show, it attracts viewers from far and wide and encourages (but does not obligate) audience participation—which later shapes the dialog of the show’s conclusion—as well as offering a lot of personalized attention. In fact, the soothingly friendly and soft voices of the performers gives the entire performance a relaxing, also ASMR-like, effect.
The show will debut for the general public on September 8, 2021; attendance is capped at sixty people per show. It runs for about 75-minutes and is quite suitable for all ages. It has a dream-like vibe to it though, so it is best suited for people who enjoy experimental and offbeat theater. “Return the Moon” is essentially a masterpiece of mixed media that combines text, movement, cinematic visuals, and music. Its themes blend into ruminations about remembrance and recurrence, the interplay of shadow and light, and how a shared experience might linger and reverberate over the passage of time. Moreover, after the performance, every audience member is mailed a package that contains content and interactive artifacts from their shared event…specifically, a charming origami house.
Zach Morris, a co-founder and poet, was one of the lead directors of this show, which is unsurprising given its emphasis on lyrical language, symbolism, and rituals. By retelling a very old story about how the Moon was lost and found again, Zach and his Third Rail cohorts have managed to make something entirely new, engrossing, haunting, tranquil, and enjoyable. It is remote theater for those who want to dream whilst awake and share in imagination with a group from the comfort of one’s own home. Through the virtual realm, geographically disparate locations are no obstacle and overhead costs associated with mounting an in-person production are moot. Yet creating a truly affecting online show is easier said than done but, for the experimental theater crowd, “Return the Moon” more than makes the mark.
“Return the Moon” will run until September 30 and performance dates vary. Three ticket tiers are available: General admission at $42, Pay-it-Forward at $67, Subsidized at $15. The Pay-it-Forward tickets support Subsidized tickets. For tickets and info visit, www.thirdrailprojects.com/return-the-moon.