With the world learning to adapt to the “new normal,” one student-run organization is looking for its “new normal” in live theater performance. Off Off Broadway is putting together a cabaret show for students to enjoy this semester while abiding by all university guidelines regarding COVID-19.
Off Off Broadway typically produces a student-written show or review in fall semesters and a licensed production in the spring, according to Daisy Lawrence, a second-year music student and vice president for the organization.
All live theater performances must abide by university guidelines, meaning masks and proper social distancing are required during all rehearsals and performances. Lawrence said the organization is dedicated to producing quality performances and thought any live performance would be "held back" due to the new guidelines in place.
With this in mind, Off Off Broadway decided to take a different route in bringing this semester’s performance to life. The organization is planning “to produce a cabaret that is pre-filmed that we will be hopefully streaming or publishing on our social media,” according to Lawrence.
Fourth-year environmental studies student Nila Ham, an advising director for Off Off Broadway, said the show can be described as a bunch of little shows from different musicals and songs all coming together to create one big performance.
The cabaret will be “a grouping of acts strung together by a common theme,” Lawrence said. The members of the organization voted to do a miscast theme, which they're calling OffCast.
Performances will be based around something that is typically not expected of the actor or actress performing it. For example, female actors might perform a piece normally performed by males, or vice versa.
“I think people are really excited for the challenge of just running through a bunch of songs with whole new perspectives and meanings,” Glenn Klier, the organization’s treasurer, said. “We didn’t want [OffCast] to only just be gender bends. We wanted it to be new perspectives put on songs.”
Performances to expect include unique interpretations on famous theater songs and group performances, duets and solos, according to Klier, a third-year entrepreneurship, management and finance student. The show is expected to be longer than a usual production because it will include a wider variety of performances than semesters past, Ham said.
The planned release date of the cabaret is for the weekend before students are sent home for Thanksgiving and winter break, between Nov. 21 and 22. The performance is planned to be posted on the organization's social media pages, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, but no plans have been finalized, Lawrence said.
Compiled by student actors, dancers, directors and producers, Off Off Broadway is the only completely student-run musical theater program on campus, Ham said.
“We are completely open to anyone who has even the slightest interest in theater,” Allison Lambert, Off Off Broadway's president and a third-year sports and entertainment management student, said. “You don’t need to be a theater major or have done theater in high school or have any theater experience at all.'