To start off. This article is NOT about how Covid- 19 is just a lie made up by the government.
I just liked the dramatic flair of alteration for the title. Covid is not a conspiracy and please keep safe. Especially since us Young people are being blamed for the spread- No Parties, even as tempting as it seems.
Big love to all of those who are have been affected by the pandemic yet are soldiering on. You’ve got this and don’t let this grey cloud smother your blue sky- not sure about that metaphor but go with it.
Life appears to be getting back to normal for many of us with a few changes smelling of sanitizer and fogging up of glasses but it’s all to help those around us. I have been able to move back to my university in my house to start my second year. I am extremely fortunate to be able to do a combination of online lectures but also in person workshops with small numbers so I am able to have some normal and to continue my Drama degree effectively.
Despite my little bubble of normality, it is hard to forget the bigger problem that is still plaguing our theatres now. As more and more theatres close, it appears that a dream that many of us, particularly the next generation maybe slipping away. One thing I have also learnt about the younger generation is that we have more ambition to be more than any other generation. We work smarter and work harder to be a community. A community so in tune with what they are passionate about that they work hard every day to make it become a reality.
As a wise person once said – ‘ when in doubt do what Artists do- move with the tides ’. That wise person is probably shaking their head at my terrible use, but it feels more relevant than ever. Artists have a rare knack of being able to craft their art to audiences that want to see them, despite the odds throughout history and even now. Artistic Sacrifices must occasionally be made to do this, but this is also maybe why art has been able to survive for so long.
I look to the idea of the musical ‘Sleepless’ for an example of how theatre can work during the continuing pandemic. First performed in April 2020- ‘Sleepless’ includes the seats are set out that several patches of seating are kept free to allow the audience to social distanced, masks are worn as well as the seemingly normal restrictions now such as one way systems, hand sanitizing stations and no snacks or merchandise. Although, for many this can take away from the experiences of going to see live theatre, this may be the new normal of theatre for a while. Many audience members have said despite these restrictions which could put a damper on the situation were not a problem, instead it shows the passion and love audiences have to just be glad to hear the music or the lines once again.
Sometimes sacrifices must be made.
Of course, there is the worry for many theatres that despite this possibility, it is not financially stable to allow theatres to keep running. However, we as a generation have become more advanced, so many of us can turn to another solution, a safer and alternately a solution that the older generation often turn their noses up at-the technological world.
Plays being streamed online or performed over platforms like zoom are becoming more and more common. None of us could ignore the outpour of plays the National Theatre truly blessed us with during the early days of lockdown – all for free to enjoy.
Additionally, during this time, many new companies have been springing out of the ashes of the 6 months where life had stopped to present new work too, using the online world to reach out to others as well as many using their performances as charity events to fund themselves or help their community of fellow artists.
For young people, this may be odd using a platform, we know and for some of us addicted to- however, it is also an advantage- we can continue to be that generation that work smarter and harder to change art to a new form but continue to be passionate about what you do. All around us, art has continued to be developed and loved by audiences.
This just goes to show how artists can continue to thrive in a time where things feel lost, until the cloud clears away.
I can speak from personal experience in this.
Through lockdown I have been fortunate enough to be featured in a online performance of ‘The Bacchae’ from the translation by Robin Robertson told by new Youth -theatre company ‘StageSpace Theatre Company’.
Directed by Luke McBride, the Bacchae is a thrilling retelling of classic tale told entirely over Zoom. Despite the minor technical glitch, I have felt the same amount of passion, commitment and fun from this group of performers as I would in person. To see the production coming together gives me the same thrills I have when seeing any other performances, the theatre setting or not.
Performances are on 12th / 13th of September- tickets are on www.stage-space.co.uk and all proceedings go to allow the company to continue to display the work of the young artists involved, so I hope dear readers -you have a look and feel that thrill we all miss.
I must thank that wise person for the thought on artists young and old- therefore I thank all of you.
Join Actor Groups. Not in person but online- Facebook groups or even Instagram pages of up and coming theatre groups are great ways to find opportunities online for you to get involved or gain more experience in any way you choose.
Link to the Sleepless article-