RU Theater Department: To be or not to be?
Updated: Oct 13
By Gabriele Eubanks
To say that this semester is not like any other would be the understatement of the year. There have many departmental changes in light of the current status of the world. Due to current policies of the CDC many sports teams and clubs are not alone in their changes to maintain their functions, the theater department has also made many changes to their programs.
With the CDC recommendations of social distancing and mask wearing, theater rehearsals look completely different. Sophomore theater Management major McKeighlah Saxinger said “We’re keeping our masks on almost the whole time, except for when we film.” Saxinger went on to explain how they have taken great precautions in rehearsals and make sure that everything is sanitized between uses.
Because of CDC guidelines, the theater department also cannot host live audiences and have to film all of their performances, which previously had not been allowed due to copyright laws. The theater department is currently working on a production of “Caesar”, but in a very different way than most productions. The filming process is in cutscenes and was not filmed in chronological order meaning the actors had to focus on the energy of the scene before filming each time. Senior Musical Theater Major Jadera Perdue said “Filming out of order gives us the opportunity to think intentionally about each scene rather than on the whole show.”
One concern of theater is that one of the main attributes is the live audience. Perdue said “One of the great things about live theater is the feedback from the audience, that’s why every show is different. Not having an audience in the room shifts the energy of the show.” This lack of emotional feedback means that actors have to work even harder to be more responsible and intentional about the energy and emotion they put into a scene.
Future productions are still uncertain as to how they will be performed. Saxinger said “We don't really know what the future holds for other plays if we’ll be allowed to have live audiences or not. We live in the moment.” The current plan for “Caesar '' is for it to be released on youtube but access has not yet been allowed to the public