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Changes in SVC theater programs

By Irina Rusanova

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings in enclosed areas, SVC theater has gone through some changes this semester.

“All the theater programs are encouraged to keep going given the current pandemic issues, which forces us to perform virtually,” explained Greggory Brandt, assistant professor of theatre.

Despite current restraints on performance, theater funds have remained unchanged and the theater community has been operating in a safe way.

“There haven’t been any budget cuts and the budget isn’t affecting the current theater activity,” said Brandt. “I’m remaining positive that there will live performances again on the PAC [Performing Arts Center] stage in the spring semester, but I’m also taking things day to day or as information becomes available. The safety of the students and staff [is] my biggest concern.”

The Gilbert and Sullivan Club performs Iolanthe in 2019. (Source: SVC Flickr)

Brandt urged the theater community to continue gathering and promoting the arts.

“Not to be cliche but ‘We’re All in This Together,’” he said. “It’s easy to get frustrated these days but we all need to stay positive and strive to keep the arts alive in our schools and throughout our communities.”

One of the theater groups on campus, the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, has adjusted to pandemic-caused limitations using innovative methods.

“Normally, G&S performs a live play in the Fall and a live musical in the Spring,” Isabel Sicree, junior English major and president of the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, explained. “The Executive Board decided to switch to a digital performance early on, and then decided to host a showcase instead of a single play when club participation became low, hoping to make the club performance more inviting to club members this semester, especially when dealing with the effects of the pandemic.”

“We decided to go virtual with our fall performance this year in the interest of keeping our club members and audience safe,” Margaret Hines, senior biology major and secretary of the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, clarified. “It would also be pretty weird to act with a mask on, so the executive board explored some other options. [The showcase] is a great way to help members work on their acting skills in a low stress environment because everyone can work at their own pace.”

Matis Stephens, junior digital art and media major and public relations officer of the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, added, “[Club members] may be overloaded by the different online work or may overall be fully online this year. We decided an online showing of multiple monologues would be a nice way to include everyone in the club’s event.”

The club has had to make further adjustments to allow members to gather and work on the production.

“In trying out a brand new way of having the show we are still figuring out how to best run club meetings and such,” Stephens said. “For the current moment, we have had smaller, socially distanced meetings where members could meet in person or online through Zoom.”

Fairies pose during the 2019 Iolanthe show. (Source: SVC Flickr)

“As far as actual rehearsals and things go, we are still in the process of planning and getting signups for the showcase,” Hines explained. “In general, though, we are planning on having a few workshops where we will help each other perfect our pieces.”

As the Gilbert and Sullivan Club is still working on planning, readers can expect to hear more details about the production in the future.


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