The Creighton Department of Fine & Performing Arts will be hosting its first live musical since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Running April 21, 23 and 25, the department will be hosting “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn.
The show is a contemporary comedic musical featuring middle school students and it reminisces on youth, many timeline flashbacks, a spelling bee and Jesus.
Many changes had to be made due to CDC pandemic guidelines. Taylor Wiley, who is the scenic designer had to consider social distancing for actors, which she has never had to take into account during her scenic career.
“When doing theater, everything is condensed and close,” said Wiley.
The audience is about one-third of the size that is normally expected for productions. Names of those in attendance had to be gathered before the show and those who wish to purchase a ticket are asked whether they have had the vaccination. Non-Creighton students/ faculty are required to get approval from the university to attend.
Mark Krejci, technical director and instructor of stagecraft and theatrical drafting, said it was difficult to socially distance the audience for all three shows.
Although it may seem simple, socially distancing approved pods as well as individuals in a seating plan can be demanding. The department has not been able to acquire a ticketing software that meets all its needs.
Although the production is being hosted live, it is not officially open to the public. Bill Van Deest, instructor of scenic and theatrical lighting, alluded to the difficulty of allowing open access to the production.