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Student Blog: Curtains Up! Light the Lights!


Studying theatre in college during a pandemic is crazy enough as is. How about putting on a full length play?

Student Blog: Curtains Up! Light the Lights!

For more than a year, Post Theatre Company has been waiting to bring live performances back on stage, exactly where they belong. It's good to finally say that live theatre is back at LIU Post! We're getting ready to open our production of The Laramie Project this upcoming weekend. As a junior musical theatre major, I've been given the opportunity to Assistant Direct this show. I've been granted a front row seat to watch our actors and creative team transform this play on stage, and I've been able to contribute my own voice to help tell this story.

Theatre has been a part of who I am for more than half of my life. As much as I've learned the process of putting on a play over the years, I've learned that bringing back live performances during a global pandemic means you'll have to work differently than before. For our production, this meant we'd be spending three quarters of our rehearsal process in masks. Our actors, who are fully vaccinated, will be tested before tech week begins and before their opening night. So until tech begins, our actors have to work in masks. All of the greatest actors will tell you that working with obstacles betters their performances, but wearing a face mask that muffles your sound is quite challenging and an obstacle we've had to work with throughout this entire process.

Something I hadn't thought of until we started getting ready for rehearsals was the amount of research, analysis, and thought that goes into creating a rich production. Especially with a show that holds as much meaning as The Laramie Project does, we knew we had to do our part in making sure we tell this story with as much integrity as possible. Between our table work and the many resources provided by our Dramaturg, Olivia Magaraci, I know each and every person has taken the time to dive into the depth this play has. Another form of research we did was to watch how a single performer can play multiple roles in one production since every actor in our production does. Our director, Gabriel Vega Weissman, just so happens to be the Associate Director of Lackawanna Blues on Broadway, a solo play. Our whole cast was invited to watch a performance of the show to draw inspiration, and for me, I also had the treat of it being my first professional performance I saw since Broadway opened back up.

The part about theatre that hasn't changed because of Covid-19, and hopefully never will, is the amount of love and passion so many of us feel about bringing stories to life. Even though we've gone through a time full of so much uncertainty in terms of what we love to do, we never lost that drive for it. Here we are, over a year since theaters have shut down worldwide, and we're bringing the same amount of dedication to the work we do as we did before. We never lost that spark.

The magic of being in a rehearsal room again, of watching a cast perform without a script in their hands for the first time again, of tearing up and getting chills from a powerful moment on stage again-- they're all parts of putting a production together that I didn't even realize how much I missed. These may all seem like little things, but after the year we've had, it's clear that they're all blessings. I've been told by multiple members of our cast that I have the "best reactions'' during rehearsals because I always watch the actors with the most invested facial expressions. I can't help but let myself cry or laugh during rehearsals because I'm just so grateful to be able to experience that feeling once again. So here we go: the beginning of tech week leading up to opening night, and I couldn't be more ecstatic.

Post Theatre Company's production of The Laramie Project will be performed at LIU Post on October 29th through October 31st. Check out more details about how to see our production on the flyer!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Rebecca Goldfarb