Why My Passion for Theatre Grew in the Face of the Pandemic

The pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone, and we all wish we could go back to normal times. I can't help but miss my friends, hugging, sleepovers, and in-person office hours. But most of all, I miss theatre.

top-down photo of filled theatre seats Alev Takil/Unsplash When Boston University first announced its shutdown, I was thrown into a panic about how theatre could possibly survive. I’m in a theatre club, I’m a theatre minor, and I work at a theater on campus! As sad as I was that shows would be cancelled if we weren't on campus, I knew that theatre would still exist in the long-run. That is, until everything went from bad to worse.

I quickly realized that I could no longer rehearse with friends or spend days and nights building a set. I couldn’t even see live theatre.

But what I didn’t know was that while I was moping, my extracurricular theatre group was planning.

In May, the Stage Troupe executive board announced their summer series—all online, from anywhere in the world. I didn’t think it would work. I didn’t think theatre online could possibly move people the way it does in person. I signed up to participate anyways. How else was I going to see all my friends?

And then, it started. Hesitant as I was, I laughed at rehearsal with my friends. I cried after stressful deadlines. I spent hours on Zoom talking about backgrounds, sound, costumes, and props. I watched people act and sing and I was moved by their performances. 

I was back in the theatre. And somehow, my passion for theatre grew. 

I found that theatre means feeling connected with others, even when that connection is endangered by a pandemic. From watching 30 little screens become one, to watching Hamilton go up on Disney+, to playwriting alone in my room, theatre was still there.

red curtains on a stage Photo by Gwen O from Unsplash My dream is to teach theatre someday. It is something that makes me happier than anything else in the world. I thought that the pandemic would lead me to lose valuable time honing my skills. And yet, I got more experience in one virtual summer than I ever did in person! I technically directed a full-length play, I co-wrote a script in 4 hours, and I solo directed a one-act play—all online.

I don’t know when live theatre will come back into our world. I do hope it’s soon, but I know that art of any kind doesn’t need physical interaction. All it needs to continue is human connection. 

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