Fort Lewis College’s Performing Arts Department has overcome several challenges within the COVID-19 pandemic, giving students the chance of performing in person this year.
“This fall looks very different from last fall,” Felicia Meyer, an associate professor of theatre at FLC, said. “Last year, we weren’t able to have live performances of our fall production, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them due to COVID.”
Instead, the department shot a video of the play and streamed it online, she said.
“It was the best we could do for our students and audience, but it wasn’t live theatre,” Meyer said.
But this year, the installation of new COVID-19 rules is allowing the department to perform in person, said Tyler Gleason, director of the Chief Tender-Foot play.
These restrictions include wearing masks inside, except for the performance, being COVID tested weekly and also being tested before the show, said Gleason.
Vaccinations have made it easier to produce in front of an audience, even though precautions are still taken when it comes to seating people in the theatre safely and protecting the performers who do not have to wear their masks while on stage, Madysen Hunter, production stage manager, said.
Live productions occurring this school year have brought several emotions, specifically for those who perform.
“We are very excited.,” Gleason said. “Especially after not having people to perform for, that is our livelihood and this is what we do everyday to make people happy.”
This semester, the Performing Arts Department is performing the play, Native American Stories for all ages, on Oct.15-16 and Oct. 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. on the Mainstage of Theatre Hall.
They are also performing the play, Between underground and the SkyWorld, on Nov. 6 in the Concert Hall.