by Michael Meigs
Austin's Hidden Room Theatre and its British partner Look Left Look Right ran this intercontinental production for the first time last March, linking Austin and London in a breathless Skype video dialogue between fictitious lovers Ryan Peterson and Elizabeth Watson. You Wouldn't Know Him/Her is an intriguing bauble, a digital spinning top and crystal ball that draws audiences into the fiction that they're assisting and supporting these young folk trying to overcome the challenges of long-distance romance.
The production and story-line have changed only modestly since the ALT review on March 11 of the first production.
That staging became a trial run for the game now underway at the Edinburgh Festival. Each Saturday and Sunday in August at noon and at 2 p.m., Austin time, the hopeful lovers will Skype-dial one another, exchange greetings, engage the supporters physically present and respond to comments supplied via the Twitterfeed with the tag #texasedinburgh
Can't make it to the Hidden Room in east Austin? You can set this playful fantasy spinning on your desktop, laptop or smartphone and watch it in split-screen at the "Watch on-line" page on their website (www.youwouldntknow.com). Since I am traveling right now in the southeastern United States, I did just that, revving up my laptop in the mountains of east Tennessee, where my brother lives. He has an extensive theatrical background and is living in a rural region relatively distant from theatrical activities.