Back by popular demand after enchanting Boston audiences with the lo-fi magic of Ada/Ava in 2018, Manual Cinema arrives with another feat of innovative, cinematic storytelling. The End of TV dovetails the Technicolor promises of TV advertisements and the decline of the Rust Belt to weave a portrait of true human connection. Set in the 1990s, the show is awash in the decade's nostalgia, delightfully recreating the ubiquitous media that was pumped into homes across the country.
In The End of TV, the ingenious artists of Manual Cinema cast a theatrical spell through live-action silhouettes, video feeds, overhead projections, and a five-piece band performing an original score. Set against the grain of a Midwestern city in decline, an elderly white woman — who was once a supervisor at the thriving local auto plant — and a young black woman — laid off from her job when the same plant closes — build a genuine connection among all of the chatter of the television ads that surround daily American life.