The show is back on…with a live audience!
On Nov. 4 and 5, Cabrini University’s theatre club is hosting its first performance with a live audience since before COVID-19. The Variety Show is going to feature an assortment of comedic scenes, show tunes and a special performance from 2020 and 2021 alumni.
After just about two years performing virtually and not having a live audience, the Variety Show will have a comedic flair to offset the strenuous time we are having due to COVID-19. The alumni who were cast in Cabrini theatre’s “Little Women,” which was unable to hit the stage at the end of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be returning to perform a medley from the show that was canceled due to restrictions. The new performance will give the alumni the opportunity to be able to showcase their talent for a live audience.
“I think people have had a long couple of years of watching everything virtually and it is time to get people back together,” Kaitlin Glenn, theatre director, said. “Theatre is about a community and bringing people together.”
Last March the group held a Cabaret show where the students performed a medley of live music however, they were not open to a live audience and instead were streamed online. While virtual performances offer more accessibility for some, not being in person can take away some of the uniqueness of live theatre.
The Conversation mentioned that while virtual performances can be a decent alternative, it’s important to realize that it can not substitute live shows with an audience. Arts programs were among the list of things that are most at risk due to COVID-19 closures and the theatre community hopes live arts be seriously considered when discussing reopenings.
Even though this performance is going to be with a live audience and feature group performances, the actors will still need to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. The performers are required to wear face shields and maintain social distancing while on stage. Traditionally, theatre performances would be held in Cabrini’s black box theatre but in order for people to be able to spread out, the Variety Show will be held in the Grace Hall atrium. Due to this, the group had to overcome certain challenges.
“It doesn’t have traditional audio or lighting settings we are used to and of course it is a different space entirely so the energy and being able to feed off the audience is definitely going to be different,” Taylor LaPergola, senior theatre member, said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but a fun challenge that we are all excited to take on.”
LaPergola is performing a solo from the musical “Something Rotten” as well as singing a duet of “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” from “Hercules.”
Cabrini theatre is a safe space for LaPergola and provided a way to express herself while becoming a part of a community.
LaPergola said, “I was slightly hesitant to perform for a live audience again, but once rehearsals began and I was able to see everyone it really brought my energy up and now all we can think about is how much fun performing is going to be.”
Michael Firuta, senior theatre member, has been acting since his sophomore year in high school. He realized during the time away from theatre due to COVID-19, how much he missed performing.
Firuta will be performing a monologue from the play “Harvey” as well as a comedic scene from the musical “Twisted” with senior member, Evans Baker. Firuta contributes a lot of his growth as a person to his career in theatre and noticed the impacts that being a part of this community can have on someone.
“I find that the theater community is a very rich environment where one can find out a lot about themselves and grow,” Firuta said. “You learn a great deal about responsibility, working in teams and thinking about something bigger than yourself.”
According to The American Alliance for Theatre and Education, being a part of theatre programs while in school has been linked to higher academic achievement. Not only do drama programs benefit education, but it also has a hand in boosting self-esteem and confidence as well as communication skills.
“Not everyone is into sports so it is important for schools to have an outlet where students can go watch shows or perform in them because it is such a different activity for schools to offer,” Kerrie Habicht, sophomore theatre member, said.
Habicht will be performing “When He Sees Me” from the musical “Waitress” as a solo, along with a duet with junior member, Piper Byrne, from the musical “Wicked.”
These performances will be Habicht’s first time performing at Cabrini with a live audience. The theatre program is her favorite thing about Cabrini and one of the major reasons she chose to study at this university.
“I love it so much and I think it would be really awesome if we could get a lot of people to come and see the show,” Habicht said.
“The Cabrini theatre is a place of love and acceptance and I think anyone who comes to see the show is going to get that too because we are all supportive of each other,” LaPergola said.
Tickets will be sold for $5 and free for students who register, each ticket will include food and drinks. Get your tickets here!