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BWW Blog: Persistence and Adaptation

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Not only is the format different from what we are used to, but the rehearsal process has been completely new.

BWW Blog: Persistence and Adaptation

What does it take to build a show from the ground up? We, myself, my castmates, and our directors, are discovering everyday what it means to bring to fruition a devised piece of theatre.

Since we are not performing for live audiences this semester due to the pandemic, our productions were changed to ensure students still get to perform and continue learning and gaining experience. Each production will be filmed, but our upcoming show, "Spoon River Anthology and Beyond" will be a film. Our university's Cinema and Media Arts Department is heavily involved with this production, as it will be shot and edited unlike any other production we've done in the past.

Not only is the format different from what we are used to, but the rehearsal process has been completely new. Since it is a devised piece and we are creating the show as we rehearse it, we were not handed scripts and librettos. Instead, we were tasked at the beginning of the process with finding monologues from Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology that we connected to, along with other material such as poems, Bible verses, songs, and hymns in the public domain. We began focusing on themes such as love, ambition, and community. As we gathered more material and connected pieces together, we found that it was effective to focus on the characters of Spoon River Anthology.

While the collection of monologues is overall quite dark and bleak because most pieces have to do with the characters' deaths, we decided to sprinkle in hope and its importance in our lives. In doing so, this makes our production significantly more relevant, as we can all use a little hope right now.

Not only is this production relevant to the current state of our world, but it also mirrors the theatre industry's evolution as auditions, readings, and even performances are becoming completely digital. Yes, it is not the same as having a live audience, but I am beyond grateful that I am able to work with people I love while doing what I love in such an unprecedented time. Making music and art is still making music and art, whether you are inside, outside, right next to each other, or socially distanced. Thanks to this production and my department's persistence, I have discovered that there are no boundaries for how much music and theatre can affect us.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Gillian Lintz