BOONE, N.C. — With pandemic safety measures top of mind, Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance announces six virtual events for the spring 2021 semester. The events include a storytelling production, a best of dance showcase, a festival of 10-minute plays, a children’s play and more.
“By offering these events online, we are able to provide our students with opportunities to perform while maintaining safe social distancing during COVID-19 and expand our audience to anyone who would like to ‘travel’ to Boone to experience one of our virtual performances,” said Michael Helms, professor in and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. Audiences responded positively to similar events in the 2020 season, Helms said.
This spring, the department is collaborating with the university’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs to offer two events as part of “The Schaefer Center Presents …” series: “Reclaiming Grace in the Face of Adversity,” a storytelling presentation by award-winning playwright, actor and professor Anna Deveare Smith, and “The Best of the Appalachian Dance Ensemble,” which showcases App State’s faculty choreographers and dance students.
“This collaboration continues a long-standing and much-appreciated partnership with the department, based on a shared commitment to artistic excellence,” said Denise Ringler, App State’s director of arts engagement and cultural resources.
Other events offered by the department this spring:
- The premiere of “Kent State, Then and Again,” a play by App State’s Dr. Ray Miller, professor of dance studies and theater arts. The play chronicles the four days leading up to the Kent State University campus shooting in May 1970.
- Appalachian Young People’s Theatre, now in its 49th season, will perform “With Two Wings” — a children’s play by Anne Negri.
- The first production of “This is Not the Play” — an unpublished play by award-winning playwright Chisa Hutchinson. Stereotypes, prejudice and perceptions of race and gender are at the forefront of this production, which is about the process of creating a play.
- A 10-Minute Play Festival produced by theater students in the department’s Directing Techniques course. More than 12 new 10-minute plays from playwrights across the country will be featured as part of this event.
“I’ve never been prouder of our students, faculty and staff as they continue to prove their resilience during this pandemic,” Helms said. “By delivering a virtual fall season for our audiences using a variety of online platforms — including Zoom, YouTube and WASU-FM, our campus radio station — with an assortment of real-time performances and prerecorded events, they demonstrated the enormous talent and resourcefulness of our department.”
He added, “The department looks forward to when we can all return to a shared stage.”
For more information about the spring performances, visit the Department of Theatre and Dance website.
Spring 2021 events
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About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. Learn more at https://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.