A hybrid mix of experimental theater, electronic literature, and participatory art, Grace, Wit & Charm was created by Rob Wittig as he developed his theory of Netprov (networked improv narrative). For the project, Joellyn Rock designed and fabricated ridiculously low-budget costume and prop elements for the fictional motion-capture workplace. She used cheap materials like green painters tape, pipe cleaners, and plastic toys. Rock also created digital collage images, background videos and machinima captures of avatars in motion, and combined these into background projections for the live stage performances of Grace, Wit and Charm at Teatro Zuccone
Grace, Wit & Charm is a behind-the-scenes workplace comedy about a tech company offering three helpful services to online users and their troubled avatars. The fictional company promises to provide “Grace” to help your avatar move fluidly, “Wit” to aid your online eloquence, and “Charm” for the romantically impaired. Trapped working overtime in their faulty motion-capture suits, GW&C company employees are struggling to make the on-line lives of their customers flow smoothly. Meanwhile off-line, they must confess their own deficiencies with grace, wit, and charm. The netprov team included writer/actors who wrote the subplots on their character’s Twitter feed and also appeared onstage, as company workers, improvising to the prompts provided by Wittig. The audience (live and online) was invited to participate by tweeting requests to the GW&C workforce. The netprov was first performed over the span of two weeks, May 14-29, 2012 on the web,in Twitter, and in live performances at Teatro Zuccone in Duluth MN.
Grace, Wit & Charm Trailer: https://vimeo.com/70899728
Netprov performers: Cathy Podeszwa, Gary Kruchowski, Shannon Szymkowiak, Jamie Harvie. Netrunner, Lead Writer: Rob Wittig. Theatrical Director: Jean Sramek. Theatrical Advisor: Margi Preus. Web illustrations: Laura LaBounty. Online Tech / Web Streaming: David Roberts, Chris Julin. Video Documentation: Bruce Ojard. Props, Costumes, Digital Projections: Joellyn Rock.