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Feeling Unhappy? The Rep Invites You To Call ‘Human Resources’

With in-person performances on hold due to the pandemic, theaters and production companies are getting creative — trying everything from aplay presented via a video game streamed on Twitch, to more recently, an interactive performance via phone tree.

An experience that’s typically a source of misery, a new phone tree presents a unique opportunity to explore and “connect” with theater actors, who recorded scenes for the production. The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s "Human Resources," presented by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and created by the theater group Telephonic Literary Union, is a choose-your-own-adventure story via phone. What initially sounds like a typical customer service hotline invites callers to discover the unexpected.

“You go down a bit of a rabbit hole, and each step of the journey, you have some agency in whether you continue, or you hang up and dial back in and start a whole new thread,” said Hana S. Sharif, Augustin Family Artistic Director at the Rep, on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “I would offer that each thread does have its own specific story journey, and there is a sense of continuity between the main threads that you only discover if you keep dialing back in.”

The performance is available by phone through April 11.

Related event

What: Human Resources, presented by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

When: March 12 to April 11

Where: Join via your phone. Each ticket costs $7 and requires a private access code, which can be purchased through the Rep box office by calling 314-968-4925 oronline at www.repstl.org.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily Woodbury joined the St. Louis on the Air team in July 2019. Prior to that, she worked at Iowa Public Radio as a producer for two daily, statewide talk programs. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She got her start in news radio by working at her college radio station as a news director. Emily enjoys playing roller derby, working with dogs, and playing games – both video and tabletop.