If SHS athletes can practice together, why can’t theater students do the same?

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Lily Grazioso, Staff Writer

Let me be clear. Whether it’s theatre, football, swim team, or choir, extracurriculars that require students to be near each other shouldn’t be conducted in-person. While I understand that most sports are unable to happen if not in-person, the idea of a contact sport being able to happen but not a theatre performance seems wrong. 

Covid seems to be sabotaging the arts specifically since, throughout the country, most art-related events are nonprofit. But requiring the SHS Drama Club has to perform virtually–while most sports are allowed to practice in-person–underscores the lack of support for the arts versus for athletics. 

I sympathize with everyone. I cannot imagine losing an entire spring season and having your sport rescheduled until after scholarship season ends. But the recruiting process is the same for high school theatre. Scouts come to shows, and now they cannot. Audiences do not want to watch a virtual play; they want to be in rows in an auditorium.

I cannot build up my theater resume anymore. 

Everyone is trying their best. 

But theatre is immediately at a bigger disadvantage. 

I do not understand how a contact sport is allowed to practice, but theatre cannot. 

But let me restate, NEITHER ACTIVITY SHOULD BE HAPPENING IN PERSON. 

As I performed “Clue” on Friday, December 4th, 2020, I could not see the audience. I could not interact with my peers. I could not tell if jokes landed or fell flat. I was paranoid about how low my energy felt, and the timing was entirely off. 

Sure, the SHS theater program has an incredible performance space, a good budget, and incredible teachers, but the focus is still much in favor of the SHS athletics department, and theatre is put second. Or third. Or fourth.