COVID-19 has affected a lot of campus activities and the theatre department productions is no exception.
Recently the department put on “Little Women.” This production was supposed to be held last spring, however COVID-19 pushed this off until the fall semester.
Instead of letting COVID-19 push their play further or cancelling it all together, there were some adaptations made in order to keep it a safe environment.
To start, the performance was recorded and then live streamed on the different days instead of being live and in person.
This was an interesting experience, definitely one different than what I was used to.
Normally when watching a play in person, you can clap and laugh along, giving the performers feedback on how it is going and on their performance. However, with this being prerecorded and online, this aspect is taken away.
While I do wish that I was able to see this live and in person, I am extremely glad that the department was able to offer this opportunity because it limits exposure to others and complies with COVID-19 guidelines.
Another change that was made to the play, one that is such a big factor in our new normal now, is the use of face masks. At first I was not sure how these were going to be incorporated, as in a play I feel that you should be able to see the speakers lips, otherwise you might not know who is talking.
I was very pleased that they opted for clear face masks so we were able to see their whole face. This is extremely helpful because not only did it allow for us to see their lips moving so we know who was talking, it also helped us understand their facial expressions, which is something in this COVID-19 era that is difficult.
Abby Seeber, who played the lead character Jo March, was phenomenal in her performance. Jo, a character who is struggling with her identity and who she is, portrays so many different emotions throughout the film and I think Abby did a great job at bringing that to life on stage.
When I first thought about seeing this performance, I was not sure what to expect. For a play that was taking place during the Civil War, I thought that there were going to be a lot of old-timey things and themes.
While there was some older language, this play felt very relatable to some things that are going on now and that is seen through the characters and their story. Such as Jo, who struggles with her identity and gender norms, and Beth, who is fighting scarlet fever for her life.
There was also a great deal of humor in the play, which I found amusing. The fact that it was able to make me laugh and also make me sad at some points, tied it all together well.
The only thing that I had a problem with was that in the beginning of the play Amy was holding a cellphone on a selfie stick, looking at her nose. I also thought maybe it was supposed to be a handheld camera. At first, I thought that maybe the performance was going to have a modern twist. However, as the play went on a bit, I realized that it was supposed to resemble a mirror, as they used it a few more times for a similar purpose.
Overall, this was a great performance that did a great job not only with the acting, but also with adapting to the COVID-19 environment.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.