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BWW Blog: Learning Backstage During A Pandemic

Since we can’t bring ourselves to the theatre, we’re bringing the theatre to ourselves!

BWW Blog: Learning Backstage During A Pandemic

Happy New Year! With a new year comes a new school term. Returning to campus for this term was stressful. My university has decided to have in-person classes for select majors. Entertainment & Arts Management was not one of them. Nevertheless, my theatre classes continue to thrive online.

Many of my classes, like Money in the Media and Entertainment Promotion & Branding are pretty doable over zoom. But my Intro to Theatre Production class was forced to make a lot of changes. Originally, my professor thought his class would be considered an in-person class. But, when it was announced that we wouldn't be allowed to have class in the theatre, he came up with a brilliant idea: making our own theatres! Well...miniature ones. The only materials required for the class were an architectural scale rule, a canvas 3 pack, an acrylic paint set, artist brushes, glaze medium, a clear foam board, and an exacto knife. That seems like a lot. But trust me, the total cost is a lot cheaper than a textbook. With those materials, we'll be creating our own props to fit inside of our miniature theatre.

Luckily, our professor is still allowed to enter the theatre. So, the other part of the class--working backstage--is taught through my professor's recorded videos. Considering most of my background in theatre consists of working as a performer, I was pretty nervous to start my behind-the-scenes education without hands-on experience. But, I'm trying to look at it in a positive light. With recorded lectures, I'll be able to study backstage techniques repeatedly, and whenever I don't know how to do something, I'll always be able to refer to my professor's videos!

I'm hoping that live theatre will return before the start of the next term. Not for the sake of me being able to familiarize myself with backstage methods, but for every theatre worker and fan, who are dying to work on or see a show. Until that day comes, I encourage everyone to keep their spirits up! If we can get through 2020, we can do anything.

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