The Gustavian Weekly

Tune into the Departments of Theatre and Dance - The Gustavian Weekly

By Samantha Raghu - Staff Writer | October 2, 2020 | Variety

This year, the seating in the Anderson Theatre was updated.

This year, the seating in the Anderson Theatre was updated.

The Theatre and Dance Department continues to play a pivotal role in the creative lives and self-expressions of Gusties. Its core mission emphasizes the “value of performance as a vital means of working for social justice and personal transformation.”
As a means of upholding this key component of its purpose, the Theatre Department will be live-streaming a series of radio plays titled The Murder Mystery Hour: A Double Bill of Radio Thrillers, directed by Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Theatere and Dance Henry MacCarthy.
Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Theater and Dance Department Melissa Rolnick, discusses in-depth the challenges faced when navigating character development and community building under COVID-19 guidelines.
“This is a whole new process for both the director and students. [MacCarthy] is rehearsing with them regularly every night of the week, and he’s working intimately and intricately with the students to find their characters in this audio-mode median,” Rolnick said.
Rolnick also elaborates on the essence of physicality within the performing arts and how COVID-19 negated its presence through the use of online navigation.

Sophomore Cascade Oppitz practices over a Zoom call.

Sophomore Cascade Oppitz practices over a Zoom call.

“Theatre and dance are both embodied practices and much about it is being in relationship to other people in space and time, and not being able to have that and trying to work through this two-dimensional median creates a whole other world of relationship,” Rolnick said.
Along with theatre, students participating in the dance production Shared Space: In Flux, student-choreographed by Juniors Amanda Hoffman and Hannah Sanders, hope to expand their skills of creativity and adaptation as they showcase their talents online.
“The students get to consider, in many ways, a broader spectrum of creative possibilities. It challenges them differently as they use what they know about space, time, and energy and translate that into another median to create a flow in the piece,” Rolnick said.

The Murder Mystery Hour will be streamed online on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.
Shared Space will be live-streamed online on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. Information on how to access the live streams can be found online.

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