The show must go on!

Samantha Cabeza, Staff Reporter

Theater students and staff have adjusted well from in-person, hands-on learning and teaching to performing everything behind a screen. As spring quarter goes on, students who are in the theater program have continued to learn performance tactics, costuming and vocal lessons all from the comfort of their own home. 

The theater program had to put productions on hold for the foreseeable future. Faculty, staff and students are prepared for if they have to limit the number of audience members at productions if school returns for the fall quarter. 

According to the program’s department chair and head of design, Christina Barrigan, at the end of winter quarter, the professors and faculty were told to prepare for spring quarter online, even if it was just for the first four weeks. 

A theater program faculty meeting was held to speak about how professors should prepare for the sudden change. Two hours later, President Gaudino announced via email that the whole quarter would strictly be taught online. 

“We were given two weeks to prepare and staff went home and took a big deep audible ‘what?’ about this whole situation,” said Barrigan. “The faculty meeting was a discussion about what the learning outcomes of the classes were going to be and what staff needed to succeed at teaching.”

The staff posed questions such as how they could teach the class online, what supplies they might need to teach the class, or if they couldn’t teach it, how they could come up with new ideas.

According to Barrigan, most of the theater professors had components of their classes already on Canvas, yet never taught the whole class online. She said certain professors had to throw out their syllabus and start again because their classes were never meant to be taught online.

“A lot of our students have voted to have meetings in real time online,” Barrington said. “The students … are taking the time out to discuss what they learned in class time and organize play readings for certain classes. This offers them an excellent element of connection.”

Patrick Dizney, a performance professor and an associate chair, also touched on the subject regarding teaching performance online. 

“We have been very reticent to go online, because what we are about is an interpersonal connection,” Dizney said. 

Dizney added that he thinks the program is making interesting discoveries [about being online] for the better.

“Some of my classes are operating pretty similarly than how they were in person,” said musical theater major, Alisa Muench. “I am still meeting with my professors individually when it comes to singing lessons and playing tests.”

Muench said she feels there is more time to prepare and study for when she meets with her professors over Zoom privately. 

“I think that the theater department was incredibly prepared going into this quarter and was encouraging all of the professors to prepare, and I commend them for being so prepared for this,” Muench said.