Photo by Julia Kelley

Otterbein’s theatre program has been preparing for their upcoming show, Into a Lamplit Room: The Songs of Kurt Wiell, while facing adversity from COVID-19 restrictions. 

The show is a song cycle of all the standout pieces by composer, Kurt Wiell. It is also being filmed in a movie musical style. Sophomore, Lucy Breedlove, who is in the main cast described the show saying, “It’s pretty relevant to some of the social happenings right now.” 

Performances would usually be held in the theatre with a live audience, but due to COVID-19, the program has had to make a lot of adjustments to their show. 

The biggest difference is that the show is an online event only. Since COVID-19 hit, the program has had a few other performances streamed online. Due to this, the cast has taken a very different approach to rehearsals to remain safe and follow COVID-19 protocol.

          

Normally, the cast would prepare with music rehearsals and script readings in a room, and be allowed to sing together. However, the program has had to be creative in finding new ways to rehearse while staying distanced. 

To work through these technicalities, all eleven cast members had to spread out in Cowan Hall, where they were provided a microphone and headset. While they were singing, they were able to hear the piano from the stage, as well as each other singing through the headphones. They were also all wearing special masks made for singing. 

Breedlove said the process was a lot harder than usual, but hearing each other sing helped the cast know how to blend their voices with each other. 

          

Since the show is a pre-recorded event, the filming itself was also a lot different for cast members. Breedlove described that performing without an audience was strange, especially since the theatre program tends to generate good audiences for their shows. 

However, she did describe that their limited time to film definitely made it feel somewhat similar to a live show, “It was a lot like a live performance in that we had only one chance to do everything.” 

The cast ended up filming the show in Cowan Hall, but also in other various locations around Westerville and Columbus. 

Tickets for the show are currently being sold for $15 per device. Showtimes are March 18, 19 and 21. However, Otterbein students, staff and faculty receive free tickets to all theatre and dance productions throughout the academic school year, as long as they are reserved over the phone, or at the Cowan Hall Box Office.