A&E

Theatre department previews winter shows

Home for the Holidays, performed pre-pandemic on Dec. 3, 2019. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

The theatre department’s winter semester lineup features a range of shows, including one directed by a Dow visiting artist.

“Our department is really excited about the opportunity to safely share theatre in these unprecedented times,” said David Rzeszutek, a theatre professor. “Although not the typical way to do our productions, the faculty and students have embraced the challenges and learning opportunities that this semester will provide for us. We’re really looking forward to working on our shows.”

Among the shows being performed is “A Doll House,” directed by Professor Tommy Wedge. The production will take place April 14- 18.

“I am directing ‘A Doll House’ and adapting it as if it were a 1950’s television show, where it starts out as a sitcom but you realize it’s more like the Twilight Zone,” Wedge said. “Those of you who’ve seen the first few episodes of ‘WandaVision’ will have a good idea of what I’m talking about. Then in the climactic moment of the show we’ll utilize color again for some really exciting effects.”

With student and faculty safety being the top priority, the theatre department will be performing all productions virtually for the winter semester. Additionally, audience members will be able to purchase tickets online closer to the performance dates.

“Both shows will be performed live without an audience and streamed to viewers at home,” Wedge said. “We are working with SVSU’s Conference Center and using their TriCaster with a three-camera setup to capture the performances. Viewers will buy their ticket, and can then tune into the livestream and see the shows from a device of their choosing.”

Wedge said the theatre department is excited and optimistic to be able to perform, regardless of the format.

“There’s that magic of watching something live, knowing that what you’re seeing is one of a kind, unlike the night before and the nights to come, that help makes theatre special,” Wedge said. “While I’ll miss the live audience aspect of it, at least we can bring that element back into the mix.”

Like many things this year, the virtual streaming platform has turned out to be a learning experience for students and faculty alike.

“We have all been learning how to adapt to the camera work, storyboarding and editing of the new venue,” Rzeszutek said.

The theatre department also plans to have immersive learning experiences for students throughout the semester, including a master class held virtually by Darrah Cloud, a guest artist from Dow.

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