Adaptability: Theatre and Dance Students Hold Online PerformancesThe Gustavus Department of Theatre and Dance will host a series of virtual performances this weekend.
Posted on November 30th, 2020 by

Lauren Stute '24 performs in "Fair Enough," a piece choreographed by Kathryn Hicks '21.

Every year, the Gustavus Department of Theatre and Dance holds a weekend of student-led performances, with both dance and theatre productions. This year, Shared Space and Theatre Gallery will be held online from December 3-6. Neither production requires advance tickets, and both will be available through the Gustavus Theatre and Dance website.

Shared Space: In Flux

December 3 at 7 p.m.
December 6 at 4 p.m.
Streaming Online

Directed by Amanda Hoffman ’22 and Hannah Saunders ’22, Shared Space: In Flux features nine dance pieces by nine student choreographers. “Several works explore the use of non-traditional spaces; a few utilize traditional spaces in non-traditional ways,” Saunders says.

The theme, In Flux, was chosen to relate to the current situation. “We hear a lot of phrases such as ‘be flexible’ or ‘uncertain,’ which are just as applicable to this production and the process of developing pieces as in all other aspects of our life,” says Hoffman. Shared Space this year required plenty of adaptation, as plans changed frequently as the pandemic situation evolved.

Though the performance will be online, rehearsals were held in person. Choreographers had to consider not only how to choreograph within the health and safety guidelines, but also how to film and edit their pieces. “Although it has been a new experience for me, I believe that this online format will serve the pieces well and has pushed choreographers to experiment with their own creativity,” Hoffman says.

In Flux will be streamed online for the public, no ticket required. The link to the performance will be available on the Gustavus Theatre & Dance website.

Theatre Gallery: Six Short Digital Projects

December 4 at 8 p.m.
December 6 at 2 p.m.
Streaming Online

This year’s Theatre Gallery features student works by directors Sam Peters ’23 and Miranda Johnsen ’21. Each director will present three pieces—two shorter projects from earlier in the semester, and their final project. These shows had a mixture of online and in-person rehearsals, before filming in-person.

Peters’ piece, In Bloom, follows Ezra Edwards, a young artist who befriends a houseplant as he struggles with his social inhibitions. When his mother, Linda, urges him to display his talent at an art competition, Ezra must grapple with his fears as he prepares to bare his heart before strangers. “Because the project is filmed, I’ve been able to develop a more personal, intimate portrait of the characters,” Peters says. 

Johnsen’s piece is titled Andromeda. The story follows a newscaster as she delivers the morning news while reflecting upon her life and relationships. “Given the online format, I have been much more abstract in my use of lighting and imagery than I probably would have been on stage,” she says. My play focuses on themes of love, loss, and, more specifically, grief.” 

These two pieces will be shown online, with no tickets required. The link will be available on the Gustavus Theatre and Dance website.


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