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Student Blog: In the Same Boat

Virtual theatre continues here at Niagara University, but this time with a bit of an interesting twist!

Student Blog: In the Same Boat

This semester, I had the privilege and honor to be cast in another production at Niagara University. Vital Signs is a collection of monologues for and about women. This show encapsulates the trials of what being a woman means. It has been super rewarding being in this show, however this experience has been very different and unique to anything I have experienced before.

Last semester, the show I was in recorded the performance via Zoom and edited it together that way. This semester with this show, and the nature of the monologue format, we separately recorded each monologue on a camera alone in our black box theatre to be evolved and edited with the singular recordings. Obviously COVID protocols were followed heavily, and we did this safely.

The way it worked was that the lights and set were set up in the room. Once everything was set, the crew left the room and I was left alone to perform/record. I then unmasked, did my monologue each time and there was a 15 minute breathing period in between filming. We also had separate blocks of time set aside for us to ensure we were alone and following the university's guidelines, as well.

It felt like I was doing a movie. In a way, that is precisely what I did. You had one shot and one take to do it. This was probably the strangest part for me. In theatre, you have time to get prepared and find that character. With film, you have to jump into the story and mindset immediately. Having never done film or recorded my performances like this before, that was the most challenging thing to get accustomed to. I have four monologues in the show, and by the fourth one I finally began to find my footing ever so slightly.

Student Blog: In the Same Boat Because of the filming aspect, our rehearsal time was cut shorter than we had all anticipated. I felt like it came and went by within a blink of an eye. I could count on truthfully both hands the amount of rehearsals I had during the entire process. This really forced me to do twice as much outside of rehearsal in order to prepare and develop my characters to their fullest potential. I wished there was more time in general.

Student Blog: In the Same Boat Being able to do theatre right now in any capacity is a privilege, and I want to have more time doing it. This week was supposed to be a "tech week". Here is it, and we now open in a few days, patiently awaiting what the final show will look like. I'm excited to see what it will look like! Each actress did not really get to see each other's full monologues. Being able to finally see everyone will be great.

While I wish we were not still here in this place doing theatre, I am grateful for the lessons and new experiences I have gained during this time. It makes me feel somewhat normal in a world still hovering over the actual idea of normalcy.

It helps to know that theatre artists are still In The Same Boat. We are all here together, and collectively experiencing this as one. We each have our own struggles, and wants, and desires right now, but we are truly in it together. Vital Signs has been a true testament to that, and I cannot wait for everyone to see it!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Josie Reynolds