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CU theater prepares for pandemic plays

 

After a semester of no theatrical performances in Casella Theater, the stage is looking to have life on it. Kind of.

In past spring semesters, the theater department has centered their focus on one large main stage musical and then several smaller black box shows scattered throughout the semester.

This semester there are new plans.

“So here’s what we’re doing,” said Harry McEnerny, Chair of Acting and Directing. “We’re taking six short plays that were written to be short plays, we’re rehearsing them. We’re filming them, we’re putting them all together into one cohesive package that then we are going to stream in April.”

This is the first time this has been attempted.

Some of the shows are being recorded in person, so that the actors will be in the same room, while some of the shows are being recorded exclusively over zoom.

“So what we get is people are able to work together to produce something that showcases what they can do. And to challenge them in ways that they haven’t been challenged,” McEnerny said.

McEnerny went on to say how the six shows were originally written for the stage but now the different casts are not only performing on stage, but acting for the camera. This introduces the idea of bending the medium from originally seeing it in person to watching it online. This is a new challenge for those acting to keep the same performance both ways.

One of the shows being rehearsed right now is called “Controlling Interest”.

Controlling interest is about a group of four 8-year-olds acting like they are businessmen at a meeting discussing the possibility of liking girls. The boys let two girls come in to plead their case.

“It’s actually really funny and a lot of fun,” said sophomore Adam Murray.

Murray has participated in shows before, but this will be his first play. Murray plays a character named David who helps negotiate with the girls in the play.

“It’s not what I thought it was going to be like. And acting with all the people is really fun, I just can’t wait to show others what we’ve been working on and how hard we’ve been working,” Murray said.

Another show that will premiere is called “Hold for Three”. This show is only three minutes long and it consists of two friends convincing a third friend to hold their breath for three minutes.

During that time, the person holding their breath is acting out different scenarios that the two friends are giving.

“The idea is that we wanted someone who wasn’t afraid to be very physical and like to express their feelings and emotions through their actions. It’s a really fun role that I think will be really cool to watch,” said junior Mara Bailey, who is stage managing the show.

All six shows will range from 3 minutes to 15 minutes each and will be filmed and edited by sophomore Luke McGee. McGee plans to put all six shows back to back for one long video.

On April 15-18, the shows will stream. More information about the specifics is yet to come.

“This is all really exciting, I think we’re all just really happy that we can do some type of theater again. I’m just really excited to share with people what we’ve been working on,” Bailey said.