There is an old theatre saying, “The show must go on!” And let me tell you, during this pandemic, we have all had to pivot to finds ways to keep going in this “new normal.” Storytelling, performance and art is an import part of lives and with the stress of the pandemic, the arts have never been more important. The pandemic is not going to keep Ventura Pirates away from the stage.
During the 2020-2021 school year students performed in two unique staging’s of musicals: Angel’s Bone by Du Yun and Monty Python’s Spamalot were presented as virtual productions. Then in December of 2021 the students were able to perform, outdoors with a live audience! They presented The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In addition to the production having a live audience that got to vote on how the murder mystery will end, there was a live orchestra. After a year of being away from live performances, I’m sure it was a treat for all involved: the performers, musicians and audience members.
I had an opportunity to ask Ventura College Costume Designer, Abra Flores, about her experience creating theatre during the pandemic and she said this, “Though I felt it was important to continue offering performance opportunities to our students during the lockdown, I felt the loss of community that usually develops around a show. It’s normally a social and very collaborative activity, but during the lockdown it felt very isolating, as if we were all working in a vacuum.” It looks like, with COVID restrictions being lifted somewhat, that we all will continue to get that chance to attend live performances. There is an end to “working in a vacuum” as the students come back onto campus for classes. And we should be excited to attend live performances once again.