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BWW Blog: The Uncertain Future of Collegiate Level Theater

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BWW Blog: The Uncertain Future of Collegiate Level Theater

As COVID-19 makes the future unpredictable with the constant changes everyday, many parts of our daily lives are altered and affected by the virus. From education, the economy, public health and activities that we never thought were risky such as going shopping or attending a concert, life will never be the same after the pandemic settles.

For college students, everything they've known has been flipped upside down in several ways. After being sent home from campus in mid-March, thousands of students have been awaiting word on what would be happening for their potential return to campus in the fall. It has been a long game of uncertainty and decision making in order to keep students, faculty, and staff safe at all times.

At Wilkes University, every major available at the school received a curveball when COVID-19 put a halt to classes. Student's education took a hit with the shift to remote learning, but besides changing the traditional way of teaching for the upcoming semester, another element of life on campus will not be the same.

For many, events or trips held by clubs, organizations and majors are the backbone of the college experience. Whether it's bingo or a block party, the fun is in the atmosphere because it's a time to get together with friends and enjoy yourself. Included in the new restrictions for the fall, Wilkes has put a strict rule on the number of people allowed at regular club meetings and canceled all major events that draw large crowds for the year.

But the theater department at Wilkes is left without an answer as to what will happen with their two upcoming planned performances in the fall. Kirt Vonnegut's "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" and "Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire are the shows set to take the stage in October and November if the university allows. When the department posted the announcement on their Instagram page (@wilkestheatre), they specifically noted that all dates are subject to change due to the virus and after losing a performance last academic year, it's much better to be safe than sorry.

All levels of theater, whether it be Broadway or local, have experienced a drastic impact like no other due to COVID-19. Collegiate level theater is no exception. Students already had to make the rough transition to remote learning for their performing arts classes, had several performances and shows canceled over the last several months and still don't know what the fall might hold for them.

Academics remain the most important priority for schools, but for students who receive their education and learn from experience, such as the theater and musical theater majors among many more, how can they be expected to be prepared for their future career if they lose all the opportunities to gain the skills needed to succeed?

The uncertain future of theater in colleges across the nation is not just affecting dedicated fans, but the students involved more than anything. With hopes that they are able to put together and perform once again in the fall, Wilkes performing arts majors are looking forward to doing what they love even if it's in a different climate than what they are accustomed to.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Breanna Ebisch