The Ohio State University Department of Theatre is cancelling its planned 2020 – 2021 mainstage season. The safety of our community is our top priority, and, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not safe to undertake public performances at this time. Theatres across the country are shuttered, and given state and university guidelines, we must as well.
While we cannot invite the public into our spaces, the faculty met in mid-July to discuss options and has agreed that we need to provide alternative theatrical experiences for our students. The Department of Theatre endeavors to provide a complete experience for its students, including performance opportunities, and we are finding ways to adapt these to keep our students, faculty, staff and visitors safe and healthy. The graduate actors’ outreach and engagement project addressing opioid addiction is continuing as a series of solos. These will be filmed and streamed together for free in late November. The school touring production of As You Like It has been re-envisioned as an opportunity to collaborate with the department’s documentary filmmaking class. In addition to filming a behind-the-scenes look at the production, As You Like It will be filmed and packaged for distribution to our school partners in the spring.
Early in autumn semester, the faculty will revisit the type of creative opportunities we can provide our students in spring. Under consideration are staged readings, performances over Zoom, radio plays, installations, and more.
When selecting the 2020 – 2021 season, the faculty was committed to the Jubilee Pledge. The faculty remain committed to this pledge, and will only consider opportunities that feature work generated by those who have traditionally been excluded such as artists of color, Native Americans and Indigenous artists, women, non-binary and gender non-conforming artists, LGBTQ+ artists, Deaf artists, and artists with disabilities. In this Black Lives Matter moment, our commitment to the Jubilee Pledge is even more timely and important.
The faculty and staff of the department look forward to the time when federal, state, local, and university guidelines allow us to resume public performances. Together as Buckeyes, we will adapt and persevere, and we look forward to sharing the stage again soon.