College students ponder how the Pittsburgh Playhouse returns to private appearances – Level Park Globe
For the first time in over a year, the Pittsburgh Playhouse is again hosting personal shows. Students working with the Playhouse have more face-to-face teaching than last year and learn face-to-face with fellow students and faculty.
“I think with the vaccine and the vaccine requirement, the students on campus are a little more comfortable. So it’s nice to see all the faces again, ”said Mary Felix, Drama Major.
Several productions with different groups are in progress or planned for the future. Madelyn Miessmer, Major in Theater Production, is Assistant Lighting Designer for the musical Curtains, which opened on Wednesday October 13th and ran at the PNC Theater until Sunday October 17th.
Felix will be working on two face-to-face shows this semester. One is through the Raymond Laine One Acts Festival and the other is through Pinnacle Productions, called “The Effect” by Lucy Prebble.
Even though the vaccine has been released and the pandemic appears to have slowed, Covid-19 is still real and cases have been picking up again recently. To ensure that the Playhouse and COPA students can continue to be on the ground, the Playhouse takes important precautions and follows Point Park guidelines.
People attending shows are required to present a vaccination card and wear masks throughout the show. Students must be vaccinated unless exempt from it and students are required to wear masks.
“In addition, the cast of ‘Curtains’ was tested again and again to ensure the safety of the actors, crew and audience,” says Miessmer.
As most have learned, studying and working through classes over the past year has been unique and almost unreal. Many schools across the country were fully and fully online. However, Point Park, a smaller school, still had the option to have some classes in person with social distancing and masking.
Miessmer was able to personally attend some of her courses. She talked about how being a theater production is super convenient and would have been impossible through Zoom.
Being able to be face to face allowed her experience over the past year not to feel too much about the class. Even so, shows were recorded and presented virtually over the past year.
“The shows were all recorded last year, which was quite an experience,” said Miessmer. “While doing recorded shows wasn’t that fun, I learned a lot last year. There were a variety of obstacles when it came to viewing theater through a film lens, and while I don’t know if I’ll ever get into such a situation again, I was glad I was able to learn. ”
Felix noted that one of the main difficulties over the past year has been integrating the people who have been learning with people in person online. She also mentioned that following all CDC guidelines was necessary but definitely challenging.
Living the pandemic lifestyle for so long made it a little intimidating to go back to a more normal year.
“The lessons and the shows are more demanding, I would say there are more expectations for each individual,” said Felix.
Compared to last year, many students feel very differently about the way they have learned and how it has shaped them for this year and the future. For Felix, she feels more comfortable being back in person with all the advances in vaccines and the guidelines required.
“I think with the vaccine and the vaccine requirement, the students on campus are a little more comfortable,” said Felix.
Miessmer spoke about how she missed having live shows on location but learned a lot from her experience over the past year. She appreciated the opportunity to have more time to prepare for shows and not feel so rushed by deadlines.
The pandemic has forced students and organizations to adapt and make new changes to ensure that students continue to receive useful education despite the obstacles. The Pittsburgh Playhouse couldn’t hold in-person shows, but it made the return to live on-site performances much better for students, faculty, and attendees.
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