I am assistant directing and working with an amazing team as we try to navigate putting on a show during COVID.
This week is our first and only week of rehearsal as I get ready to help put on the production of Waiting for Lefty for my college SUNY New Paltz. I am assistant directing and working with an amazing team as we try to navigate putting on a show during COVID. This is unlike anything I have done before. It is both exhilarating and terrifying. And I wanted to share a little bit about how we are managing to pull this off.
First off, every design meeting we had has been over WebEx as all of us meeting in person and maintaining social distancing would be difficult. It has been a lot of emailing back and forth, and a couple nights sitting at my computer for hours as we discuss how to put on this show. The designers still worked on their designs as if they were putting on a fully realized production. We still wanted everyone to create, and to give the actors an idea of this world they are living in despite not having a full set and costumes. It still helps them understand what the world of the play is, and it gives a chance for the designers to still share their work.
So far, our rehearsals have been all over WebEx. It is weird to not start the process in person. but we make it work. We make it work. We make it work because we want to continue our art. So, we all see each other through our little screens and create art. The plan is to have the actors in a theatre space, wearing masks, staying six feet apart on stage, with no audience. Instead we are streaming the show live on YouTube. We have two cameras set up for a wide shot, and a zoom shot. People get tickets (which are free) and then get the YouTube link to watch the show. It is still theatre, but the audience is at home watching it live.
We spend two rehearsals online and starting Wednesday we are in person. We are back in the theatre, following all COVID guidelines of course, knowing that if even one of them is broken we move entirely online for this performance. I am as I am sure everyone else is in this production nervous about it. However, at the same time I am excited to be back in the theatre. To walk across that stage and see the seats even though they will be empty. To work with the actors in a theatre. To go home again. To be home. It is going to feel amazing.
If you want to catch the show, CLICK HERE get tickets so you can get the YouTube link to watch the show live. I think Waiting for Lefty is an important show especially for today. It reminds us to stand up for what’s right. To do what is right. Even when we keep getting knocked down repeatedly, we fight back. We fight back for what is right, and for our rights as human beings.