Theater department to offer three livestreamed shows this fall

The first virtual play to be performed by the Theater Department this fall, “Alma” will premiere on Sept. 24.

Photo courtesy of the School of Arts

The first virtual play to be performed by the Theater Department this fall, “Alma” will premiere on Sept. 24.

Bailey Heffernan, Staff Writer

Art studios, performance centers and even movie theaters have closed their doors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with no exception for the arts at CSUSM. 

The art, music and theater departments attempt to find a way for students and staff to maintain normalcy given these changes.

This online-only instruction includes the theater department, which originally planned to host three in-person shows for the fall semester. 

Rather than cancelling these shows, the theater department has taken a different approach to how these performances will play out. 

Online video forums, such as Zoom, allow theater to continue to perform. Although the format of online performance is different, theater majors still have the ability to display their showmanship this semester.

Third-year theater major Alyssa Tivadar discussed how this acting format will work, and how actors are feeling about this sudden change.

“All of us were very confused at first about what to do. We didn’t have all that much information before the semester ended, and we only auditioned in July [as opposed to May],” said Tivadar. 

Tivadar said the online acting experience has been challenging. “It is definitely not ideal, but at least we are able to continue with our performances,” she said. 

Tivadar also said that the staff continues to be supportive and encourages participation during these trying times. Many theater classes require their students to be at these shows in order to keep attendance close to the norm. 

Audience members will be able to attend via livestream. Acknowledging that online theater is not what audience members are familiar with, Tivadar said, “I still hope members of the community will choose to view our shows.”

The three shows that will go on this semester are diverse and incorporate new concepts when it comes to format. 

The first show is a play about an immigrant mother and her daughter entitled “Alma,” premiering on Sept. 24. 

The other two shows will take a less traditional theatrical approach. One is about historical women and will take the form of a presentation rather than a play. The other is about masculinity and centers around student-written monologues. 

Even though her acting experience looks very different this semester, Tivadar is optimistic that students and staff will enjoy the opportunities they do have given the online learning environment. 

The shows are being publicized in the hopes of a normal audience turnout. Although these shows will look different, the theater department is not giving up on its students and their art. 

For information on the upcoming performances, visit csusm.edu/sofa/theatre-arts/index.html

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