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The show must go on: KU Theater showcases performances in virtual theatre festival

Theatre Performance

Theatre students perform their pieces, as seen here, to be shown in the virtual festival. Pictured from left to right: Brad Mathewson, Aubrey McGettrick, Katherine Patz, Petricia Hall and Asher Suski. 

The KU Theatre program has been keeping busy with producing adapted performances this semester due to restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students have been rehearsing for a virtual theater festival that will run from Oct. 23-25. At first students had to rehearse on Zoom, but as restrictions were lifted, small groups of people have been able to practice in ballet studios and even on the Crafton-Preyer stage.

“Every team leader is a student and we all proposed our projects right before the semester started,” says Kalen Stockton, a senior from Topeka who is directing a piece for the festival. “We started our rehearsals on Zoom for the first few weeks, and then we were able to move into one of the ballet studios in Robinson because we have a small cast and we’re able to maintain social distancing.”

Most of the performances are original or otherwise devised projects created by KU theater students. These performances range from dance movement to a rendition of a song from the musical “Urinetown,” a show the theater program planned to do this past spring but was cancelled due to COVID-19. 

Theatre performance dance practice

Theatre students practice their dance performanes in a socially-distant atmosphere. Pictured is Madison Meade, a member of Kalen Stockton's performance group. 

Each of the groups is currently working on filming their performance to have them edited and ready for viewing for the virtual festival.

“We have a videographer assigned to our team who has been working with me and my dramaturg/designer to figure out our shots and how we want to frame our story,” Stockton says.

The group is going to film on the Crafton-Preyer stage and have their video edited and ready for the streams.

Stockton, like many other theater students, has been trying to make the best out of the given circumstances to create her performance, which debuts at the festival Friday.

The director of theater, Katherine Pryor, says that there are several different acts to the show, including: a short comedy film about a zombie apocalypse in the theater department, a movement/spoken word piece and a “Mice and Men” inspired work. 

Pryor also said there will be more virtual performance events to come, notably the University Dance Company will present three fall concerts as well. These shows will be put on through Anycast, which is a router that allows all the groups to connect and present themselves. 

The UDC’s fall performances will take place Oct. 9-10, 30-31, and Dec. 3. You can go to the KU Theatre website for upcoming events, links, and more information about the programs. The link to stream each event will be released on the show date.

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

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Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

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Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

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Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

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Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

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Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

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Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

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Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

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Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad