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Home Arts & Culture Fall Theatre Productions Adjust to COVID-19

Photo courtesy of the Sower Staff

by Hannah Birtell

Seniors Brianna Dehn and Hannah Watt are each taking a unique spin on the traditional way that theater is done in order to put on productions for this fall semester as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. 


Dehn wrote a play titled “Happy Endings for People Like Us” that will be directed by Professor of Communication and Theater Arts Bryan Moore. This play will be produced via Zoom conference calls. 


“It is almost like a documentary type of thing where all of the events take place on Zoom conferences or Facetime things,” Dehn said. 


Dehn had originally written this play to be produced as a stage play, but in late July she found out that she needed to change it into a Zoom conference call. 


“It was a challenge cause there were some parts that I had to take out that I really really loved, but they didn’t format in zoom conference format, but there were some things I added that I did love that I could do now because of Zoom that I didn’t think I would have,” Dehn said. 


Dehn’s play is directed toward high school students and addresses mental health. It centers on two high school students who are from two opposite ends of the social spectrum. The two of them meet in group therapy and there is  a lot of drama that unfolds as a result. 


To go along with her play, Dehn also plans to create an online website with mental health resources for high school students, parents and teachers. 


For her senior capstone project, Watt is doing three radio plays. Radio plays are done through audio alone.


“I don’t know if you remember the 1940s, but radio was a big deal with people doing radio plays and making  their sound effects,” Watt said. “That’s kind of what I want to do.”


Watt had originally had a different project in mind of her senior capstone, but in light of COVID-19, had to go a separate direction. The end result of this became the Ghost Town Radio Plays.


“It is Ghost Town because the theater will feel like a ghost town when we are performing because we won’t have an audience,” Watt said. “It is kind of using the circumstances and making it kind of funny and cool.”


Ghost Town Radio Plays will consist of three standalone plays. One play is called “The 39 Steps” and it will be directed by Watt. The second play is entitled “Oz” and it will be directed by junior E. Rose Grothaus. 


“The third one will be an improv show so we don’t know what that one will be like yet,” Watt said. 


Watt’s and Dehn’s plays will be available for students to watch or listen to online. More information about where you can find these plays online will be made available at a later date.

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