Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many theatre students have needed to adjust their way of learning and performing; EMU senior, Lindsey Brown, is one of them.
Online classes and social distancing have been set into place to ensure the safety of students. This is a big change for Brown, who, as a theatre student, is used to being surrounded by people.
Two classes that she found extra challenging to do in an online Zoom setting were Advanced Stage Make-Up and Shakespeare.
“Advanced Stage Make-Up is definitely weird online. One of the big issues is we had this big make-up cabinet in previous years that we could draw stock from and now we don’t have that,” Brown said.
Brown was in the middle of taking her Shakespeare class when classes stopped mid-semester this past March.
“We had monologues that we turned in as videos and we had scenes that we did on Zoom. We had this big end of the semester project where we were supposed to adapt Shakespeare with a group to a smaller 20-minute performance and we just did the script for that and never performed it,” Brown said.
During the Fall 2020 semester, Brown continues to take her classes and rehearse online. When they do meet in person, social distancing requirements are met.
“Right now, we are having rehearsals on Zoom or on Discord. We are going into Quirk [Theatre] for one week of the show process and recording. We are put in this room, by ourselves, where there is a green screen, then our tech staff works together to turn the green screen raw footage into a cohesive looking theatre piece,” Brown said.
In a time where we have to social distance from one another, trying to create theatre where the cast can’t be near each other brings a whole new challenge to bringing theatre to life.
“There is a vibe of theatre people where we love being in each other’s space. I have already talked to a lot of my friends who are acting in this show and we feel like bad actors because we aren’t getting into the characters as much as we wish we could,” Brown said.
However, the students are still able to perform for an audience. The upcoming production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” will be able to be streamed at six different times starting Dec. 4 through Dec. 13.
Brown is double majoring in theatre arts and political science. Prior to the pandemic, she saw herself going to graduate school to study theatre arts but now feels that going to graduate school is more important to make up for the skills and knowledge she has lost during online learning.
“The pandemic gave me time to think about going to graduate school. I think I would have gone anyways, but I’ve had this time to reflect,” Brown said.
Brown hasn’t let this pandemic change her mind about working in the arts. She believes that one should not change their passion just because of what has happened to the arts in the year 2020.
“I’m not going to feel bad that I went to school to learn a very specific skill, even though part of society might view it as a hobby,” Brown said.