"The Delays" is preparing for a virtual opening night on campus

MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) -- Theatre is a place where goers can get dressed up and enjoy a night on the town. However, in COVID-19 times, this looked a lot different. The play "The Delays" is making its debut here on campus, however, not through a stage. 

Empty classrooms, plastic screens and Zoom. This is what the set looks like. This is because COVID-19 restrictions on campus do not allow students to actually perform on stage. Instead, students are subjecting to a third floor broken up between a span of seven classrooms. 

“So, the set up that we have is essentially having each actor in their own room in this one hallway, in which they are all on the same Zoom screen, communicating with each other, telling the story each in separate ways.” Director Grace Wagner said. 

The actors and crew are not allowed to intermingle during performances, and each actor is limited to one room with plastic all around them. While performing, each actor is in their own individual room and only communicating with each other via Zoom.

This brings up some challenges along the way. 

“In terms of pacing, there’s lag on Zoom, that takes longer for every actor to hear each other. And therefore, that like drags out the process. How can you share an item and be in two different rooms? How can we have an intimate and close relationship with one another when we're talking to a camera?”  Wagner said. 

However, the actors are not being let down. For many of them, they are adapting to the Zoom setting. And for some, this is all they have ever known. 

“As a freshman I had no idea what Ball State what the production at Ball State looks like so for me I would say that I’m a little lucky, for not getting to know what that feeling is. But I have a whole lot of responsibility putting on this show.” Freshman acting major Mitchell Takeda said. 

But for others, this is becoming the new normal and something that is better for many.

“I was in the show ‘The Gift’ that was originally in person and then got switched to online. So, I have some experience with Zoom shows. I will also say it makes it a lot more accessible to people as well. Like my family members who live in Washington State across the country got to see my show last semester because it was on Zoom. As opposed to having to fly all the way out here to see my show.”  Sophomore acting major Megan Watson said. 

Despite all the ups and downs, "The Delays" is set to premiere Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 P.M. on Zoom. Tickets will be available on the Ball State University website under the Theatre and Dance Department page.

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