PLAGUE DOCTOR: CONTAGION 430 BCE - 2020 AD: Athens, 430 BCE. Marseille, 1720. Philadelphia, 1918. Louisville, 2020. Four cities, each contending with a deadly epidemic capable of unleashing profound social, political, and cosmic upheaval. Plague Doctor: Contagion 430 BCE – 2020 AD is an interactive story that invites you to explore four distinct moments in time when public health crises exposed the fragility of our social order, laying bare the inequities and insecurities hiding just below the surface.
Roam the streets of Athens, recording the effects of a mysterious virus so that future generations might recognize and treat it. Inspect the merchant ship Grand-Saint-Antoine as an official of the Marseille sanitation authority, and decide whether its valuable cargo of fine silks should be unloaded. Bring an exploding influenza outbreak under control in Philadelphia, mere weeks after the superspreader Liberty Loan parade. Experience the disorienting reality of quarantine in Louisville, while protests against racial injustice rock the city.
This original, interactive game can be played through a web browser. All you need is a computer—and a healthy dose of curiosity, like the Plague Doctors that raced against time to solve the great mysteries of nature for the sake of humanity.
NOW BECOMES THEN: Created specifically for senior adults—many of whom have been uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing—Now Becomes Then is an intimate, interactive experience that takes place on a Zoom video call. Each one-on-one experience involves an element of chance: participants are paired with a “guide” who will lead them through a randomly selected series of questions, prompts, poems, or mini-adventures.
New York-based director and Actors Theatre of Louisville alum Jenny Koons developed Now Becomes Then in collaboration with apprentices in this year’s Professional Training Company, who also serve as the project’s guides. Connecting young adults with older generations, this project invites moments of self-reflection, conversation, and human-to-human engagement.