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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Drama department adjusts to virus precautions

SUN. | 11-15-20 | NEWS

SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS

     Due to the COVID-19 virus, there have been many significant changes in the way Rose students operate in the classroom. When people think about a normal drama class, many picture a group of students role-playing and practicing for upcoming performances and plays. Due to the virus, there have been many alterations to the drama department that have not only affected both students and staff involved. 

     “My biggest class used to be 24 [students], now it's five face-to-face,” Jacquline Golebiowski theatre arts instructor and theatrical company director said. “I cover a lot of the same material that I used to teach, however, I'm finding it more and more difficult getting students excited about the prospect of performing, [and] the classroom energy just isn't there anymore.”

     When they perform, all students are required to wear face masks and continue to socially distance. This handicapes the way that these students perform and bring the story to life.

     “Performing is storytelling and part of the beauty of theatre is human interaction and reaction [which is] difficult for students to portray with masks on their face,” Golebiowski said. “Not to mention, it's difficult hearing [and] understanding, anyone.”

To ensure that everyone in the class is socially distancing, they participate in individual performances rather than groups, so in their case, social distancing has not been easy to enforce. Golebiowski also has placed marks on the stage that indicate

drama pic 1.jpg

Picture taken and edited by Ashley Van Havere

where the students can stand so that social distancing rules can be followed accordingly. If the school schedule changes and the class sizes increase, they expect to modify group performances and block stage movement. 

     “When it comes to acting, most everything that I teach now is focused on the individual and what they can control - acting for the camera verus acting on stage for an audience,” Golebiowski said. “It was a bit strange talking about audience etiquette when it won't necessarily be used or will be used during Zoom calls.”

     Social interaction is a crucial aspect of the class, and students are normally given honest feedback from their teachers and classmates. Now with the majority of the class being taught through Zoom, student feedback is completed during online meetings or in breakout rooms instead of in a whole class discussion.

     Typically the drama department puts on a show each semester: a regular play in the fall and a musical in the spring. Sometimes, they even have a performance in the fall as a way of fundraising. 

     “Our troupe registered for the NC Thespian Festival in March…[and] the Thespian Induction/ Awards Ceremony took place at the conclusion of the school year,” Golebiowski said. “We'd also participate in an Annual Day of Theatre with other PCS high school theatre students and teachers [and] last year, we had signed up to take a group of Theatre students to London and Paris over the summer.” 

     The drama department's trip to London and Paris was postponed to summer 2021. Due to the virus, many of these regular events have had to reschedule or be canceled altogether.

     “The week before schools shut down, our trip to ECU day of theatre was canceled, then the Thespian Festival,” Golebiowski said. “We held out hope that we'd be able to perform Aladdin in June, [but] because of the shutdowns, we postponed it to this semester.”

     Because of the PCS hybrid learning schedule, social distancing and mask guidelines, the Aladdin show has been postponed to Spring 2021. 

     “We've invested too much into the show to not produce it, [but] some parts will need to be recast,” Golebiowski said. “We're looking into a possible performance before Aladdin but not sure of what, when, or how we'll do it.”

     Although there have been many changes to the way the drama department functions this year, they are hopeful by finding ways to adjust to it all. 

     “Right now, we are waiting on community leaders to make informed decisions that will allow us to participate in theatre safely, [but] we have to take things one day at a time,” Golebiowski said. “Whatever we decide to do and whenever we decide to do it, I know we will receive the support that we need.”

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