Kate Jopson (director) is the Artistic Director of the Aliso Theatre Company, having previously been Artistic Director of both Circle X Theatre and the Flagship Theatre, all in Los Angeles. Recently, she directed the short film PROTECT & SAVE (official selection Pasadena International Film Festival, Alexander Valley Film Festival, Dam Short Film Festival) and developed documentaries with the Academy-Award winning company Stick Figure productions. As a theatre director, she specializes in experienced-based productions in locations as varied as a Frank Lloyd Wright house, a horse ranch, a beach, and a flower-filled basement. Recent theatre credits: HOLE IN THE SKY (Circle X Theatre); CANDIDE (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (Circle X Theatre/J.U.S.T Toys Productions, LA); 1984 (Greenway Court Theatre, LA); AN ACCIDENT (Griot Theatre, LA), TWELFTH NIGHT (Courage Theatre Co. LA); SECOND SKIN (The West/The Flagship Ensemble); A WILLOW GROWS ASLANT (La Jolla Playhouse —Without Walls Fest.) B.A UC Berkeley; M.F.A in Directing from UC San Diego. http://www.katejopson.com
Cruelty can happen so casually, especially with the distance that social media allows. Social media is a double-edged sword, it can help those who feel isolated find a community and it can also bring out the darkest urges in humans. You no longer have to look someone in the eye and see the damage you have wrought. Micro-aggressions and unexplored prejudices can balloon into great wrongs. In the first three episodes of The Web Opera, we see how two young men’s choice not to face the discomfort of addressing their differences leads to a thoughtless and deeply violating action. We also examine how privacy is willingly and unwillingly taken from us.
The youngest in my “millennial” generation grew up without ever knowing a time before the internet. Some of us feel that privacy is overrated, that “we have nothing to hide so why does it matter?” I also fall into that reasoning, at times. But then something like the true events at Rutgers that The Web Opera is based on happens and I must re-examine my online presence. When I do, it is often terrifying how much of my life can be easily accessed and how little is under my control. That is why I wanted to film it in a way where you are watching people through their devices while they are going about their daily lives, unaware of our gaze.
While the story is small, the ramifications are big. Composer Michael Roth felt that an “opera” would help us find the emotion behind these small moments while keeping the larger scope of the message always present. The music defies genre, having moments of rock, pop, new music, musical theatre, and sound design fused together into the experience. The webseries itself also invents a new genre of “Web Operas.”
Overall, we tried to suit the medium to the story and the story to the medium to find a way to get into the heart of some of the largest issues of our time.