Theatre as an art form and as an enterprise has always required collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking to ensure that the saying “the show must go on” actually happens. Creativity and flexibility have never been more important for the Department of Theatre at Marietta College than this year.
“In these unprecedented times, we are fulfilling our educational mission in creative, new ways,” said Andy Felt, Artistic Director of the Theatre at Marietta College, the production arm of the Theatre Department.
Within health orders and College social distancing guidelines, they moved forward with rehearsals and plans to produce musicals and plays. A few weeks ago, the Theatre at Marietta College performed EDGES, a musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, for private audiences of up to 12 people.
“While we are saddened that we are unable to invite our local patrons into our performance spaces right now, we understand that our responsibility to protect our students, faculty, staff, and larger Mid-Ohio Valley community must take precedence,” Felt said.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the department was excited when it was able to secure permission to livestream the upcoming production of WELL by Lisa Kron for local viewers.
“It’s actually a lot harder to find shows available for streaming than you’d think, especially during this pandemic,” said David Makuch, Theatre Department Chair. “That’s why we’re thrilled to be able to share this fun show with our community.”
In this “solo show with people in it,” the main character, Lisa, explores the provocative question: “Do we create our own illness?” The answers she gets are much more complicated than she bargained for as the play spins dangerously out of control into funny and unexpected territory.
“When Director Lisa Grande first asked me if I would be willing to play Ann Kron, I was unfamiliar with the show. I downloaded it on my Kindle and read it in one sitting. My answer was an enthusiastic yes,” said Dr. Suzanne Walker, Marietta College’s Associate Provost.
“WELL says so many important things that are incredibly relevant for our current time,” Walker added. “The show uses humor, the complexity of family relationships, and the metaphor of illness and wellness to help us explore the issues of brokenness in our own lives, in our communities and through extrapolation to the world at large. It is funny, poignant, heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful – just the message we need today.”
The Theatre at Marietta College will perform WELL at 8:00 p.m. on November 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th. The local public is invited to sign up through www.marietta.edu/boxoffice to view the livestream of any of these performances for free.
EDGES was presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). WELL is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.