It has been approximately 11 weeks since COVID-19 caused many businesses to close and many theatre productions to be cancelled or postponed. In a non-Coronavirus world I would have just closed a show this weekend that would have run the length of May. I was the dramaturg for the Covey Center of the Arts’ (in Provo, UT) production of Moon Over Buffalo. Just before Moon Over Buffalo would have opened, I would have closed another show as the dramaturgy supervisor over two young dramaturgy students for Freedom Prep Academy’s You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Two projects have come and gone and here I am still wondering when my next in-person project will be. Likely, it won’t be any time soon. However, just because we can’t participate in in-person projects right now, doesn’t mean we have to cease all theatre participation indefinitely.
If you follow my blog regularly you know that right now I am acting as a producer and dramturg for (and currently streaming HERE) an audio drama of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This project is spearheaded by my good friend (and founder of DAM Good Productions) Daniel Mesta. Over the course of a month, the cast and production team met over Zoom from the safety of our homes to develop and record each actor’s lines. The actors recorded their lines on their own devices and then after each recording session, sent their lines in small audio files to Daniel. After receiving the files, he spent the time to edit them into a three-part audio drama, complete with a narrator, ambient noise, and period relevant music. Listen to it (if you haven’t already). If you didn’t know that the recording sessions took place over video chat, would you be able to tell?
Another way that I’ve been able to stretch my theatre muscles from home is writing. I love to write. If I didn’t, would I have this blog? I haven’t ever written a full length play. I’ve never even written a one-act. I have a few ten-minute plays on my New Play Exchange profile, but that’s about it. Writing is something that can easily be done in solitude, and usually is. I have taken this time to plan out some future blog posts (stay tuned) and to outline some new play ideas I’ve had stewing for some time. My favorite part about this is that even if no one reads this blog…I hope people are reading…are you still here…anyway, if no one reads this blog and if I never send my plays out for the world to read, writing is very cathartic and it gives me a chance to express myself and get my thoughts and ideas out there for anyone who is listening. I’ve even submitted to a couple playwriting challenges over the last couple of months.
My point with all of this is, yeah, I lost a couple jobs at the beginning of this pandemic. I don’t know when my next jobs will come up or where they will come from, but I’m confident they will come. In the meantime, I will enjoy creating art, just to create. This might be a dark time, but even in the dark of the night, the moon shines a little bit of light on all of us. Find your light and create!