By Violet Taber, Co-Arts-and-Entertainment Editor
With classes underway for the 2021-2022 school year, this semester is already drastically different from what students involved in Post’s theatre community have experienced throughout the past year. In order to ensure student’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, live performances haven’t been able to take place on campus since March of 2020, which has changed the perspectives of many theatre students on the creation of their art during this time. However, with proper social distancing, mask and ventilation protocols in place, students will be allowed to partake in a plethora of live theatrical performance opportunities taking place throughout this semester.
“I think it’s really important as a community to experience live theatre again after a long hiatus,” senior musical theatre major Angelina Umbriac said. Umbriac is the vice president for the Emerging Student Theatre Artist (ESTA) club for the second year in a row, and Umbriac has already started preparing for this semester’s packed ESTA season.
“First up, we have a “Ryan Scott Oliver Cabaret”, featuring songs from his works “35mm”, and “Jasper in Deadland”. Following that we have “Waitress: the 24 Hour Diner”, a rehearsal process that lasts for just 24 hours and culminates in a one night only performance,” Umbriac said. ESTA will be performing a lineup of shows that includes a musical, a straight play, a drag show, and improv shows.
“We’ll be producing “The Addams Family: the Musical”, followed by “Virginia’s Gender-Inclusive Drag Batch for the Bitches”, and to close out our season, “Almost, Maine”. You can also look forward to seeing our improv troupe, No Control, performing throughout the semester,” Umbriac said. ESTA is holding auditions for their season virtually, and submissions are being accepted until Sep. 17, students can find more information on the ESTA instagram account @esta.liupost.
ESTA isn’t the only organization on campus where students can find live theatre performances happening throughout the semester. Post Theatre Company (PTC), the theatre troupe associated with the university’s theatre department, will be holding their first live performances since the beginning of the pandemic this semester.
“[I’m] looking forward to getting to see productions in-person [again],” senior stage management major Danielle Zambuto said. Zambuto is involved in PTC’s first show of the semester, “Everybody”.
“I am the production stage manager for “Everybody”, and I’m most excited for the challenge of the nature of the characters,” Zambuto said. Performances for “Everybody” will begin Oct. 8, and students can get tickets at the box office, located in the Little Theater on campus.
Many students in PTC are excited by the nuanced challenges, and the timely subject matters of the various shows they’ve been cast in.
“I’m excited to be a part of this show because I have the opportunity to shed light onto a topic that makes people reflect on themselves, and how they treat those around them,” sophomore musical theatre major Brecken Hummer said. Hummer is a cast member of “The Laramie Project”, PTC’s second show of the season. The show, which follows the aftermath of the murder of an openly gay high school student in a small town, will begin performances Oct. 29.
“I believe this show was relevant when it first premiered in 2000, and is still relevant today,” Hummer said.
PTC’s season will also include “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, a rock musical following the story of Hedwig, a gender non-conforming artist, and “New Play Festival”, where newly written plays will be performed by PTC students.
Between campy musicals, joyful cabarets, and eye-opening plays, there won’t be any shortage of live theatrical events for Post students to attend throughout the fall semester. And for the students performing in these productions, their highly anticipated return to live theatre has united the theatre community at Post in their shared excitement for what’s to come.
“I cannot wait to see my friends in the department perform their hearts out and deliver their incredible art for all of us to see,” said Hummer.