It is Brelby tradition to dedicate the month of November to giving a platform for our artists to share their stories. This month our annual Blogathon theme is “Shifting Perspectives”. We’ve spent a large portion of 2020 with our stage dark, but that doesn’t mean that our artists haven’t been growing, changing and creating. This year we asked them, “How has the pandemic impacted your perspective on theatre, the arts, and life? What are your hopes for the future of theatre?”
Enjoy this year’s series.
This pandemic has shifted quite literally everything we know, in one way or another. I find myself watching my favorite TV shows on Netflix in awe of how close we used to be able to be to people, without a mask to protect us. I watch them get out of their cars and I think “wait, they forgot their mask in there!”. Within this extended period of time, that really has no certain end, so many people have turned to the arts, without even knowing it. In turn, nearly every artist’s creative outlet has been stripped away from them. TV shows and movies halted filming, Broadway closed its doors without ever knowing when they may open again. It’s terrifying to think of all of the closed doors there have been in light of recent catastrophic events. Even with the alarming amount of closed doors, a small amount of carefully creative ones have opened.
I remember in March, right before my 21st birthday, I felt almost relieved that I could have a break. Since I began my journey in the theater world, the word “no” was rarely in my vocabulary. I would book anything and everything I could. Between some school, working my “regular” job, and any theater endeavor, I would create 14 hour long days for myself. Early in 2020, I was choreographing 2 full-length youth musicals, 1 adult musical, 4 different youth performance groups, all while serving tables to keep my bills paid and finishing a full-time college semester. To say the least, free time was not my friend. Then suddenly, I was home for days. Then weeks. My restaurant closed down, and the shows that hadn’t already finished their run were forced to do so. For the first time in a few years, my schedule was quite literally empty. Trying to fill the void that was left, was quite difficult. Playing computer games and taking naps was quite the change from the constant grind I had gotten used to.
My perspective on the arts has really been broadened during this pandemic. I always knew how important it was, especially through working with our youth. I never really realized just how important the arts are to our everyday lives. Whether you’re listening to your favorite playlist in the car, having a movie marathon, or live streaming a play. Without the arts, we all know this world would be an utterly dull place.
My perspective on life shifted greatly. I’ve always been the type of person who is always go-go-going. With all that free time on my hands, I realized it was okay to allow myself to have and enjoy free time. We all need it. Seeing just how fragile life is, and how easily it can be threatened, has been a big eye-opener.
My hope for the future of theater is simply that it gets to make a comeback. Surely, our ways of doing things will continue to shift, and we will continue to adapt and find creative ways to create. My fingers are crossed that eventually, there will be a safe way to watch (and partake in) a show again. Whether it be high school, community, or Broadway theater. Each one is just as important, especially to all of the struggling artists we have now. Hopefully, the theater community can safely reunite one day. Until then, wear your masks, and keep that body healthy! Maybe, the future of live theater is just around the corner.