THE STORIES: The play can be performed as one show or separated by its two parts. In Part One (WAITING FOR THE HOST), while theatres, playgrounds, schools, and churches are shuttered by a modern plague, the rector of a small church on Long Island gathers a handful of parishioners via video conference. His goal is to record a theatrical reading of the story of the Passion for the church website. As exes bicker and technology confuses, this socially distant endeavor quickly becomes chaotic. Still, in the effort, the group finds a strange, painful closeness, and that their comic and clumsy reading has become a kind of desperate prayer. In Part Two (STILL WAITING), the pandemic lockdown is well into its second month. Members of the church find themselves bitten by the “acting bug.” With the help of a “professional director” from Manhattan, they hope to launch a community theatre at the church. To their surprise, the bishop and church leadership found their Passion Play objectionable, and their plans are met with resistance. They decide to put on a showcase of their skills, with an “updated” version of medieval Biblical plays, and find they win the support of an unexpected guest.
“…a show that was specifically written to be performed remotely…The brainchild of playwright Marc Palmieri, [WAITING FOR THE HOST] just may be the first full-length work written for our new surreality.” —TDF Stages. “Call it a play within a play within a crisis…The play authentically flaunts all the glories and pitfalls of a typical online group session.” —NJ Star-Ledger. “WAITING FOR THE HOST…allows a new work, a new approach to theater, a new approach to performing, a new approach to directing to take place and it is definitely entertaining. The play does not disappoint. It is real, raw, and brings some much-needed laughter; exactly what theater is supposed to do.” —BroadwayWorld.com. “…risible, riveting and deeply pertinent to our times… WAITING FOR THE HOST compels an honest reassessment of life perturbed by a global pandemic…To watch [WAITING FOR THE HOST] is to hold up a mirror to one’s disheveled self upon waking up on the wrong side of bed, examine the many flaws and blemishes laid bare in full view, and burst into hearty, raucous laughter—not merely in spite of, but because of it…a shining example of theatre’s undying relevance…” –Robb Report Singapore.