By Irina Rusanova
The Gilbert and Sullivan Club, an on-campus theater group, has turned away from performing a live show to prepare a new format for performing in fall 2020 in order to comply with pandemic regulations and promote health and safety.
Isabel Sicree, junior English major and president of the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, explained the purpose of the club.
“Our club was founded eleven years ago … and its mission is [to] present the works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and their contemporaries, to the Saint Vincent Community through the talent and artistic expression of our club members.”
According to the English National Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan were Victorian theater partners whose collaborative works included a multitude of notable comical operettas such as “Iolanthe” and “The Mikado” and whose productions featured revolutionary theater experience for the time period, such as using electricity onstage.
Now, in 2020, Gilbert and Sullivan’s productions have moved from electricity onstage to a fully electronic stage—the digital sphere.
“Our showcase will be taking place at the end of October, online,” Sicree said. “People will be able to access it through our club's YouTube channel and other online platforms.”
Sicree also introduced the structure of the showcase.
“There will be a small handful of monologues being performed, chosen from Gilbert and Sullivan plays and musicals, such as ‘Ruddigore’ and ‘The Gondoliers.’ We will be practicing the monologues with other club members throughout the month, and then the performances will be recorded and edited before being posted as whole,” Sicree explained.
Sicree was especially enthusiastic about the montage component of the showcase.
“I'm excited that we will be able to present parts of Gilbert and Sullivan shows that may be lesser known, as well as experimenting with a new platform for performing,” Sicree said.
Matis Stephens, junior digital art and media major and public relations officer of the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, encouraged students to join the club and participate in the upcoming showcase as well as in future productions. Even students with no historical knowledge of Gilbert and Sullivan are welcome, she said.
Despite the pandemic’s adverse effect on theater, Stephens believes that it may offer one benefit: a friendlier environment for beginners.
“I would also like to reinforce the idea that these new times shouldn’t scare you away from the theater. We have all adapted so much to this year, and the theater is doing the same,” she said. “In fact, this year may be an easier way to try out if anyone new to theater is interested. Recorded online monologues can help you gain confidence in your acting without the worry of being in front of a live audience.”
Sicree encourages interested students to contact her or Stephens for additional information.
“Our next event will be a yet-to-be-scheduled rehearsal for our showcase, but we are always taking recruits! If anyone is interested in any aspect of performing, whether as an actor or as part of a stage crew, feel free to email,” she said.