Theater Rehearsals in Quarantine Turned into Documentary

Theater rehearsals in quarantine turned into documentary
Theater rehearsals in quarantine turned into documentary

A documentary about 19 theater students who closed their homes during the COVID-3 pandemic, recording their daily lives with their mobile phones was shot. The Coronameron Documentary, produced by Onur Başer and directed by Rıdvan Karaman, tells about a play staged by Decameron, which tells about the plague epidemic in the Middle Ages, and the homes of students who rehearse with their teachers over the internet, and their lives turn into plays. Coronameron, the second feature-length documentary of Rıdvan Karaman, is planned to participate in national and international festivals very soon.

Karaman states that the idea of ​​the documentary emerged when the coronavirus epidemic started to take effect all over the world. Karaman, who is interested in the effects of the epidemic on daily life and human psychology, explains the subject of the documentary as follows: “The three people we witnessed in the documentary are the acting students of Ankara University DTCF Theater Department in 2020. While the students are recording their daily lives while they are locked away, they come together with the acting teachers at the school over the internet and study a game. The play, in which we see the rehearsal process and staging in the documentary, was adapted from the 14th century Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron, a book about the plague epidemic in the Middle Ages. The documentary has an approach on the overlap of fiction and reality through the connection between the coronavirus epidemic and the plague epidemic on the one hand and the link between the past and the present, and on the other hand, between the ongoing daily life and the theater play. Life and play merge into a new reality, as the distinction between fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

Stating that he had the opportunity to discuss the life-play relationship from a different perspective thanks to this documentary, Karaman said, “We will express that they are planning to compete in many national and international film festivals this year”.

The team didn't get together

The shooting of the Coronemeron Documentary took place in April and May 2020. During the process when everyone was shooting with their own mobile phones, the team gathered over the internet at certain intervals, rehearsing and staging the theater play in the documentary. During the shooting process, the documentary team and the people who took part in the documentary did not come together, except for giving and receiving the discs to be transferred. Communication was provided by writing, talking on the phone or video calls. More than 100 hours of raw footage was recorded, including 10 hours of daily life and 110 hours of play rehearsals, and the documentary was completed after an 8-month editing process.

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