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The Chronicle

The Chronicle

The Chronicle

    College of Lake County theatre inspires students to persevere

    College of Lake County faculty, staff and students in the theater department have had to improvise to make sure the show goes on despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

    “It had a huge impact,” Craig Rich, department chair of the CLC’s Theatre Department, said. 

    With health safety as a priority for everyone,  CLC students had to make several compromises and adjustments. 

    Summer Shakes, a collaboration event between CLC and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, presented three different Shakespeare plays through Zoom to encourage their students to continue participating in theater. 

    These included A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night. 

    One of the participants of Summer Shakes was Bryan Smith, a CLC junior majoring in theater.

    “It’s a little shaky at first, [but] if you keep rehearsing, you kind of do feel the connection,” Smith said. 

    He added that the rehearsal process is more like a typical rehearsal for live performances, but to fit it in a smaller setting.

    CLC is also showcasing Zoom shows throughout the semester, with the classic fairytale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, running from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4; the mystery radio play, Twisted Tales of Poe, running Nov. 13 through Nov. 15 and then from November 19 to Nov. 21. 

    Amanda Bachinger, CLC sophomore majoring in technical theater, said the actors are delivered set kits, a collection of props and costumes.  Thus, they can still perform and give the same appearance to audience members as if they were performing live. 

    Within the theater classes, Rich said the faculty wishes to continue teaching the theater field by offering classes on campus, live via Zoom, and through a hybrid format in acting, design, and technical theater. 

    The Centerstage Theatre club at CLC has also made efforts to continue accepting incoming students interested in theater, so they have a place to meet together through Zoom. 

    Rich, Smith, and Bachinger are also part of the club, respectively as club adviser, president, and secretary. 

    “I hope to help them find a place to belong,” Bachinger said, adding that she is looking forward to the semester. 

    The club plans such activities as reading scripts and monologues and learning how to improve their theater skills while behind a computer screen.

    The modifications for theatre students and staff has been a new experience for everyone.

    Rich said he has not been very accustomed to teaching within these conditions, and as time passes, he is able to get more insight thanks to the students he works and teaches with.

    The students are also excited and optimistic about how these new changes will come. Although the pandemic is making theater and entertainment difficult, there is still a sense of determination to succeed from students and staff.

     “Art is not dead,” Smith said. “[It] will continue to evolve.” 

    An example of this is the upcoming Zoom production, Twisted Tales of Poe, a radio drama inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. For those interested, this play’s auditions are on Monday, Sept. 21, and Tuesday, Sept. 22.

    Photo courtesy of Lucero Martinez

    Photo courtesy of Lucero Martinez

    Whether it be auditioning for a Zoom show or creating an inclusive community that will overcome the odds, theater at CLC is still aiming to continue strong, even in the face of adversity.

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