How COVID has changed Theatre


Elizabeth De Young and Olivia Freiberg dressed to perform – masks and all!

Kylie Sullivan, Staff Writer

Musicals. One of my favorite things. In our school, for the past three years, we have produced Legally Blonde, Little Shop of Horrors, and Avenue Q. Well, unfortunately Little Shop of Horrors never made it to the big stage, thanks to one thing that would unknowingly change our lives forever: COVID-19. Let’s take a look at how the performing arts have altered thanks to our worldwide pandemic. 

Though we do not yet know our musical for this year, it can be said that the abandonment of Little Shop of Horrors was a huge loss, impacting the lives of students as well. While speaking to Jessie Skonesey, a student of LWC, who has participated in musical theatre in all possible years, said, “It made me really unmotivated… Everyone had a lot of free time, since it (the musical) didn’t happen.” I feel it can be agreed that the 2020 year was one of the most unmotivating in all of schooling. Being online, and hybrid were huge adjustments, stifling the learning of students and education itself. So, the official confirmation was sent. The musical would be cancelled.  

Fortunately, the spring musical for 2020-2021 year was salvaged. It was a surprise to everyone. Concerts, plays. It all continued. “It was amazing. I was in shock.” There were some catches – the first read-through for Avenue Q was done through Webex. It was challenging, since the delays on the computer confused those reading the script. Asides from small complications, Avenue Q was produced. The performers did have to wear masks; clear, plastic masks. “The puppets didn’t have to wear masks, though. So that’s good,” one actor joked. A relief, indeed.  

So, what are our hopes for next year? Well, for Skonesey, regarding COVID, one of her hopes is that masks will be gone. And concerning theatre, she would like larger, more complex dance numbers. COVID-19 has impacted everything, not just theatre. To say that the past two years have been demanding is an understatement. There are students who have had to make huge sacrifices, and for some their life completely stopped. But, there is still hope. For example, last year. We would have never dreamed of going to school full time. And, who knows what could be next? Maybe, we as a school, can move past this effortlessly with grace…and theatre.