The greatest tragedy unplayed

As COVID-19 cases rise in Iowa City, the theater department at West has changed its yearly plans.

Luke Krchak, Reporter

In 2020 many forms of entertainment such as movies have been shut down or postponed. Similarly, the ICCSD has moved online again, limiting the ability of student groups to hold events. Theatre West has been no different.

The usual schedule of one play in the fall and one musical in the spring have been shaken up, leaving the auditoriums empty. Theatre West has current plans of hosting two radio plays via YouTube.  Students will still have to pay to watch these.

The first radio play will be hosted December 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. It will be based on the 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast that spooked viewers who thought the performance was reality.

The second radio play will be hosted December 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. It will be based on the 1946 black and white film “Its A Wonderful Life”.

In the spring, the plan is to keep the musical in person. However, there are two failsafes in place. The first being to host the play outdoors. The second being to record it for YouTube, in a format similar to the radio broadcasts. It will be based on Steven Sondheim’s 1986 Broadway musical “Into the Woods.”

As the plays are being postponed and reformated, the real tragedy has been getting new students to join behind the curtains. The new COVID-19 guidelines have reduced the number of students that could work on the crew, and it’s been harder to bring in students who are new to backstage productions.

“Although the same number of students signed up for crew back in the spring, we’ve had a harder time getting new students to join,” Theatre Director Katy Nahra said.

Even though you cannot reserve your seat in the auditorium, purchase tickets for Theatre West’s virtual performances in December on their website.