Masque Workshops

Clare Katyal '21, Staff Writer

It was March 12, 2020 when the news came: all Broadway performances would be postponed through April in response to the ever-spreading Coronavirus pandemic. However, weeks passed and the date Broadway was scheduled to reopen was slowly pushed back further and further. Now, performances are delayed until May 30, 2021, forcing actors everywhere to reconsider how to spread the joy of show business in a safe way. From musicals performed on Zoom to a virtual concert for Stephen Sondheim’s ninetieth birthday, theatre people are learning to adjust. The first virtual play since the shutdown occurred on a Zoom live stream on April 29, 2020, to an audience of over 5,000. It was Richard Nelson’s “What Do We Need to Talk About?”, and featured six cast members performing from remote locations. As the reopening of Broadway continues to be pushed back further, more and more people are learning how to share theatre during the pandemic. 


At Oakland Catholic, theatre also took on a different nature this year. Central and Oakland Catholic’s Masque theatre group originally began holding outdoor workshops in Central’s Quad. Director Dr. Mackey provided socially distanced seating outside, and welcomed new and old cast members alike. These workshops gave those new to theatre an opportunity to learn the basics of performing, from breathing to having correct posture. They also allowed those who have been in past Masque shows to see their theatre friends again after a long break, with last year’s show being canceled. The students worked on acting and singing techniques, allowing them to dip their toes back into the art of theatre after a long break. The workshops came to a close on November 5, due to the weather getting colder. However, with Oakland Catholic’s switch to full time in-person learning, there are now plans to begin preparing for a Spring Musical. Audition dates and specifics are still unknown, but the musical will most likely proceed with mask-mandatory rehearsals and live-streamed performances. Nevertheless, those in theatre are looking forward to getting back on stage in any way they can, whether it be virtually or otherwise.