Iowa State theater department adapts for latest show


“Perform the Protest: A Theatre Action for our Time” will perform at outdoor performances Wednesday through Saturday. 

Omar Waheed

Iowa State’s theater department backs up its confidence in pulling off a show during COVID-19 with leagues of planning and preparation for the upcoming show “Perform the Protest: A Theatre Action for Our Time.”

Like all organizations on campus, theater faces challenges in resuming performances during the pandemic. Regrouping after last semester’s abrupt end for in-person engagements, theater aims to ease people in with its newest show.

With safety as their highest concern, the theater department is implementing distancing standards for its audience, having both the audience and performers wear masks, capping the audience at 50 people per show, placing the stage at a distance that guarantees the safety of the performers and streaming the show via social media as an option for those who don’t wish to attend the show in person.

Starting Wednesday, the theater department will give the cast of its upcoming show a chance to vocalize and give a platform to issues they are concerned with.

“I am not really worried about the risk of COVID during this performance,” said Sam Huhn, a sophomore in performing arts. “The theater department is doing everything they can to make sure this event is safe for not only me but [for] all who are attending.”

Now only concerned with the weather for the outdoor performance, Alex Brown, senior in performing arts and stage manager for the upcoming show, is no longer concerned with COVID-19 as it relates to the show. He said they have planned for every issue and believes in their ability to adapt and overcome any challenge that may present itself. 

While some see new measures for gathering as a hindrance, Brown does not. After seeing and hearing about shows made specifically for social distancing via drive-in shows, zoom shows and hybrid shows, he feels as if they can capitalize and drive theatre further than before.

“I don’t see it as a roadblock,” Brown said. “At first, I thought it might have been just because at the beginning of the pandemic, I felt everybody was a little negative toward everything, but I definitely see it as a way to grow and for everybody to find a new way to create what they want to create.”

Taking this to action and continuing with how rehearsals have been taking place, the show will feature performances from the ensemble in person and virtually. This is due to the dedication to keep everyone safe.

Because of this dedication, students like Alexis Murdock, a freshman in pre-interior design who will be performing virtually, can still pursue an interest in theater at a level that she feels comfortable with, given the current circumstances.

Murdock and Monica Toro, a freshman in performing arts, who are having their first semesters here at Iowa State, are able to feel some of that first-semester experience they feel they are largely missing out on due to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

“Perform the Protest: A Theatre Action for Our Time” can be viewed at several times throughout the week, including at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the south lawn by the Campanile, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday outside of Fisher Theater, at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the south lawn by the Campanile and at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Fisher Theater.