The Show Goes On

Despite pandemic challenges and a virtual audience, Pinnacle Theatre Company produced the annual spring play

Actors scanned the large crowd of students and parents waited for the curtain to rise and the show to begin. The excitement and anticipation from the crowd filled the air. But, this scenario looked a little different this year. The crowd this year sat outside and consisted only of select family and friends, all donning a mask on their faces. While the crowd in the seats remained small, an abundant audience watched virtually through a livestream event. Even with COVID precautions, this year’s theater production proved nothing short of spectacular work. 

This year, the Pinnacle Theater Company (PTC), produced a show called The Theory of Relativity (TTOR). The show featured a wide variety of characters, all students in college, who appeared to share their unique stories. 

The characters all connected at the end, demonstrating the perception of the interconnected nature of humanity, ” said senior Emiley Yurkovic, costume designer for the show. 

Each member of the production loved the variety of characters and their stories. Cast and crew alike found the hybrid format complex and most enjoyed the challenge to make sure the show went on.

 “The show featured a collection of stories, songs, and monologues from a wide range of characters experiencing the heartbreaks, joys, and wonder of human connection and what it means to be alive,” said junior Cierra Olsen, crew member.

However, one of the major changes came from the audience, as PTC also presented the show through a livestream. PTC hoped to offer the show to everyone, which meant offering it to those at the comfort of their homes.  This meant fewer in-person attendees, which the performers and crew definitely felt.

“The in-person crowd was a lot smaller this year and consisted mostly of parents so the student attendance at the show was greatly missed,” Olsen commented. 

Like Olsen, senior Helena Honnen also missed the energy that a large crowd brings to any production. 

“My favorite part of live theatre is getting live reactions from the audience and feeding off their energy,” Honnen said. “So you can imagine how different it feels to perform without any of that.”

Putting strict rules and precautions in place ensured that this year’s production ran smoothly and remained a live event. For instance, along with masks required at all times, the tech crew made sure to not touch any actors, even if they needed any kind of help, such as a makeup touch-up. Precautions also included costumes that followed a strict schedule of washing every day and a quick dry-off just in time for rehearsal. The crew worked tirelessly to prepare for the show, while still meeting the precautions necessary to keep a live show. 

 “There were fewer preparation days and build-up compared to the months-long work of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, the show we put on last year”, said Olsen. Senior Olivia Lopez, part of the ensemble, also added, “Compared to past years, it was about the same amount of time, just not as many rehearsals.”

But, even with such changes, the show proved a crowd-pleaser and a fantastic memory for anyone involved. 

“It definitely was a different experience, but nevertheless, it was an amazing performance and it was a great opportunity to be a part of it,” Yurkovic added. 

This positive spirit radiated throughout the cast even in the midst of a pandemic, 

“It was still super fun working on TTOR no matter the changes Covid-19 threw at us,” said Olsen.