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Exploring Theatre Performance Amid COVID-19: A Conversation with Student Seamus Clerkin

Seamus Clerkin, senior in theatre and communication arts

Seamus Clerkin, senior in theatre and communication arts

The world of performing arts became largely quiet at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

But faculty in the School of Communication and the Arts and Schuster Theatre have used innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to continue providing theatre experiences for students throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

We got in touch with some of these students to talk about their experiences, which have challenged many of them to take unique and creative approaches to theatre performance. We’re delighted to share here a conversation with Seamus Clerkin, a senior in theatre and communication arts.

Q: How would you summarize your theater experience during the pandemic?

Theater has been interesting during the pandemic. Anyone who does theatre is used to having to adapt, and I believe the theatre community has come up with a great temporary fix to sharing performances with audiences.

Q: Can you share a theater experience that has been impactful for you during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

I was involved with Gannon University Schuster Theatre’s Shakespeare Summer Nights digital theatre production, Twelfth Night, over summer. We were among the pioneers of the new form of theatre; we had to collaborate remotely and expect many changes to happen throughout the process of our production. Everyone involved was dedicated to our common goal of figuring out how to continue to provide entertainment during these crazy times.

Q: What have you learned from this experience?

I have learned that it is okay to not have a clear idea of the future. Things might not always go to plan, but it is important to keep an open mind and adapt to change.

Q: How do you think your program has prepared you during this pandemic?

I believe my theatre program has prepared me for change. I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful group of friends and leaders that (social-distantly) support each other through everything. We are rolling with the punches and still producing shows for our audiences.

 

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