How COVID19 Has Affected SHU Performing Arts

By Christian Colon & Jackie O’Rourke
Staff Reporter / A&E Editor

Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the closing of Sacred Heart University’s campus, most student extra-curricular activities are cancelled. The cancellations include all events from the university’s Performing Arts program

“Due to the rising concern of the coronavirus, and based on the guidelines of the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the university has decided to cancel all performing arts events. For questions or to request a refund please call the box office at 203-371-7908, Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.,” said a message from the Performing Arts department.

“One of the amazing parts of being part of the performing arts program at SHU is the opportunity to showcase the pieces you have worked on at the end of the semester. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, these performances have been cancelled. The news left my friends and I very sad knowing that all our hard work would not be shown in March and April,” said junior Gabriella Trani, a member of both the Dance and Choir programs.

The Edgerton Center box office has agreed to refund any tickets that were purchased in advance for the concerts, musicals and dance shows.

“Orchestra and quartet were cancelled, and that we missed out on so many potential performance opportunities which would have helped us grow as a group,” said junior Chelsea Coelho.

There were a total of 16 shows cancelled across the theatre arts program (TAP), choir, dance, band and orchestra programs.

“It’s definitely disappointing to have our final performance cancelled as we have been working towards it all school year. We learned two new dances over spring break which we were very excited to showcase for the very first time back here at SHU. It is sad to not have one last performance with our seniors and captain,” said junior Hannah Probst, a member of SHU Irish Dance.

The play “Fake News” was set to open March 19.

“I was cast in ‘Fake News,’ which was my first college show and what I considered to be my foot in the door with the TAP program. Having it cancelled was really difficult because I had put a lot of time and effort into our show,” said freshman Grace Major.

The main stage musical “Chess” was set to open on April 23.

“I was the assistant stage manager (ASM) for ‘Chess’ as well as a cast member in a TheatreFest show. I am absolutely crushed by the cancellation of both of these events. I put my heart and soul into every production that I am involved in and though I understand why these measures needed to be taken, that does not make the loss of these productions hurt any less,” said sophomore Allie Campbell.

The “Sounds of Spring” orchestra concert was set for April 18.

“The people in the quartet are some of my closest friends and I can’t believe I now only have a year left with them, but it’s important that we make the best of what we got. This quarantine isn’t permanent, and if we all still stay connected virtually and help each other, we will be able to get through it,” said Coehlo.

Along with academic courses, the SHU Performing Arts Program has shifted to online. They have been practicing virtually and plan to hold public performances this way, too.

“My heart breaks for the seniors, especially that they will not be able to have a final performance. Fortunately, the performing arts program is working its hardest to make certain accommodations for next semester to show these pieces. In the meantime, both programs that I am a part of are hosting virtual meetings so we can all keep in touch during this time of being separated,” said Trani.

Senior Carolyn Lisboa, a member of SHU Choirs, said, “It has definitely been a challenging transition to suddenly move to online classes and go home at this point in the semester. I miss seeing my friends, going to events, sitting in class and just being on campus in general. As a senior, it’s been really hard to come to terms with how my final moments in college ended.”

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