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From the Intern’s Desk – The Show Must Go On!

July 27, 2020

Bryanna Pye Headshot (2)“The show must go on.” If you’ve ever been involved in theatre, you may have heard the this phrase used. Whether you’re the high school actor making his first stage debut, the musician practicing to play in the pit, or the theatre parent that’s been recruited to help built sets, you know what this means. Essentially, the show will go on, regardless of what may happen. So what happens when theatre itself is stopped? Living in the current circumstances, it feels like the arts world has taken a major hit with no immediate answers to the future. However, artists and creators rise back up again and regroup. Armed with creativity, ingenuity, and persistence, they emerge into the fray of the unknown to trailblaze new forms of spreading the arts. Why? Because the show must go on.

The Touchstone ensemble proved to continue this ideas as I was introduced to the creative ensemble and team. After unexpectedly packing up to complete my semester at home, it was refreshing to connect with individuals that had the same passion as I do. There’s something about the theater community, where you can instantaneously click with those around you. The Touchstone ensemble kindly welcomed me in and gave me a sense of purpose as we currently drift through a time of uncertainty. Through Zoom, I have been able to develop my creative collaboration and administrative skills, while getting a peak into the process of how a theatre is run.

The main project I’ve been tackling this summer revolves around research and dramaturgy work (collecting background research for a play). Christopher Shorr and I explored Puerto Rican culture through the lens performance, specifically the holiday tradition of parranda. I got to explore the origins of this Christmas tradition that involves individuals singing holiday hymns to surprise friends and family in an exchange for food and drinks. The goal is to be able to incorporate parranda into the upcoming season of Christmas City Follies, in either a small or large scale. While there was so much rich and fascinating history in the roots of this tradition, the largest take away was the aspect of giving and building community. The holiday tradition is the spirit of Puerto Rico, giving of one’s time to strengthen and build relationships with family and community.

I find this pearl of wisdom crucial to how we handle ourselves today, especially in the tumultuous landscape we continue to navigate. Show kindness to everyone you meet and support others to make them feel heard. Humans were meant for connection; this concept seemingly amplified in theatre as people build relationships on numerous levels. Finding that spark to keep us going allows us to turn out work, even in the darkest of times. Working with the ensemble has been such a blessing as they put their energies into creating accessible programming and events for the community. Theatre may be in a current rest period, but it’s certainly far from over. The stories, relationships, and community cultivated through theatre are powerful, perhaps powerful enough to develop new ways to thrive. For now, it’s intermission, but just wait until the second act. The show will go on.

— Bryanna Pye

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