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BWW Blog: Pivoting for the Pandemic

This show has shown me just how much we can pivot as theatre creators to ensure safety while also being proud of the product. 

Recently I have had the opportunity to work on my first show in person in more than a year. In this show I am working on the backstage crew, something I'm not used to at all and wouldn't normally choose, however, the experience is giving me a lot of hope looking forward. Finally I am in a space again surrounded by people with common ideals who want to tell a story and make something together. You can feel the excitement in the room. Even from six feet away. It makes me think that now or one day we could potentially do again what we used to. I had lost a lot of hope that theater would ever feel normal again. While of course neither the process nor the content is a 'pre-pandemic normal', the barrier of a mask seems unimportant when you get to be doing what you love.

The production I'm working on will live stream out to an audience, with all of the actors in one theater, performing six feet apart with masks on. Without having to compromise artistic integrity, this show stands on its own as a piece of theatre to be proud of. The addition of a cinematographer to the team has allowed for me to see the show from a different perspective, and one I only could have possibly gained through the insight of a camera. While hiring a cinematographer might not be in the resources for a lot of communities, this show has shown me just how much we can pivot as theatre creators to ensure safety while also being proud of the product.

Of course, I look forward to the day when I can see a show again in real life, and when I can be in a rehearsal without having to constantly worry, or even be able to snack during a break. But for now, this will do. I could not have made this statement two weeks ago before I started working on this show. While this type of theatre may not fulfill me as much as the real thing, it finally feels like a step back in the direction of normalcy -- something refreshing and needed as the future still looks bleak.

To anyone reading this -- how have you pivoted? What has your experience been like?

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From This Author Student Blogger: Hope Johnson