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BWW Blog: Musicals in Quarantine

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Connecting through music is more important now than ever.

With colleges starting classes finally, it's an interesting and difficult time for all of us. For me, I made the decision to stick to remote learning as all but one of my classes were only offered remotely anyway. In addition to that, I have my first of two capstones! Being a senior in college is stressful amidst a pandemic since you miss out on traditional experiences, but I've learned that singing is one of the best possible ways to express yourself when you're struggling.

With proper social distancing practices and mask wearing to everywhere I went, I had the opportunity to go on a short vacation to one of my favorite places: Williamsburg, Virginia. What I consider to be my favorite part of the trip isn't actually the location itself, but the near-excruciatingly long seven-and-a-half hour car ride that it takes to get there and back. I grew up with musicals thanks to my mom being obsessed with them when I was little, so we often sang in the car to pass the time or just let out some emotions. Our particular favorites were Wicked and Phantom of the Opera, but over the course of my life we've broadened our horizons beyond those two.

Now, what does this have to do with stress relief? Vacation was well-needed for the both of us, but what we needed most was to express ourselves through singing. Our musicals of choice? Mean Girls, Beetlejuice, Anastasia, Hadestown, Hamilton, Book of Mormon and, you guessed it, Wicked. Of course we had regular music thrown in as well, but the moments where we connected most was when we were singing from those musicals. Singing during that trip felt freeing in ways I truly could not even fully describe. It was a way of letting out every agonizing, painful emotion I experienced since March. Quarantine has left us all with a feeling of uncertainty whether that be for our education, work, friendly gatherings, etc. Connecting through music is more important now than ever.

Since we can't see musicals directly, we resort to albums or video recordings that we can buy instead. I'm sure many of you have watched Hamilton since it released on Disney+! If you haven't already, I sincerely recommend checking it out. If you can't experience a musical in person, it can be nice to try and replicate it in your own living room. Of course you won't have the same experience of uncomfortable seating, or the loud conversations around you, but it's the thought that counts, isn't it? Get your favorite snack, sit down, and watch! I had this experience with Falsettos and Hamilton earlier in quarantine and, while it doesn't compare to the real thing, it was nice to have the overall feel. There are all sorts of ways to still feel connected with theatre even if you aren't in the theater directly.

As summer comes to a close and we get used to classes, I hope that I can continue to feel my strong bond with theatre even without having the opportunity to witness shows directly in front of me. This is a harsh time for all of us, but we'll make it through because we have so many years of plays and musicals to look back on, remember, and cherish.

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