The spread of Covid-19 has not stopped students from performing plays at Cabrini University. Although there will be no live production at Cabrini’s theater department, Kaitlin Glenn, the theater director and an assistant professor in the English Department, is planning on finding different ways to perform while respecting the Covid-19 rules on campus.
Glenn said, “we have a wonderful student body and student group who come and dedicate their time to the theater.” Usually, the students would have a fall and spring play that each runs for 2 weekends. Due to Covid-19 rules, there are no fall plays because they are not allowed to have audience members. Not only are they not allowed to have spectators but everyone must follow the Covid-19 rule so it makes it hard to perform when they have to wear a mask in public. “It would also be challenging to sing and act with a mask on,” Glenn said. “We are still working and getting students involved, it’s just not your normal season.”
It is challenging for Glenn to work without any students. It was especially emotional for the seniors as they knew they were not going to get their final show. Michael Firuta, junior communication major, also took part in theater. When he heard the season was canceled he felt awful because his friends worked so hard on an upcoming play called “The Little Women.” The cast was about halfway through production when they were told they would not be able to finish the play. “All they wanted to do was to share one last experience with one another for the show,” Firuta said.
On the bright side, Glenn has started accepting submissions to where students can record themselves doing monologues or pieces that are posted on Cabrini theater’s Instagram or Facebook. This also allows an opening for students who don’t normally have the time to participate. “This does give students the opportunity to get involved and not have to commit fully to a full show which has a positive side as well,” Glenn said.
The Cabrini faculty members have tried their very best to make the student’s daily life normal in the new campus environment. “I think the school’s doing a great job trying to give everyone some sort of a similar life that you guys are used to,” Glenn said, “But it’s just important to me and the department and everyone that whatever you are writing we don’t want it to be fazed or made to seem like the theater has been canceled”
Glenn has worked hard in the theater because it has been her passion ever since she was 2 years old. “I don’t really have a memory of not ever being interested in theater,” Glenn said. Her parents were very interested in theater, as well. She grew up in a house where music would always be playing. Since then she knew exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up.
There are many influences that helped Glenn decide to pursue directing theater. After completing her undergraduate at Cabrini University Glenn enrolled in The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York to study acting and stage directing. Ultimately the management side of the theater is what interested her the most so she went to Drexel to pursue her masters in artistic management and production.
At the same time, the theater director at Cabrini University was retiring. Since Glenn was a former student she had numerous connections and good relationships with the professors at the school. Glenn saw this as an opportunity to be the new theater director.
“The best part of my job is working with the students on something they create. We work together and I help them build a whole show and they get to show it off and be proud of their work and that’s my favorite part,” Glenn said.