The show must go on

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting theatre doors and putting art classes online, students majoring in the arts are finding new ways to express themselves.

Kathryn Robinson, Reporter

COVID-19 has touched the lives of nearly everyone around the world. Doors of restaurants, clubs and countless other businesses have closed. The arts and theatre community have also been affected greatly by this pandemic. Without an audience, what are they to do? Here at Hamline, theatre and art majors have found new ways of expressing themselves.


It is difficult to be online for any student, but for art and theatre students, it is especially challenging. Senior and digital media arts major Allison Archambault has struggled with working in an online setting. “We did a group project for our first assignment and it was really hard at first to transition online instead of being in person,” Archambault said. 


While the general consensus is that professors are doing all they can to respond, getting feedback has made online classes difficult for arts students. “There’s still a slight delay and it’s still very disconnected with critiques,” Archambault said.


For senior Helen Dolan, a studio art major, receiving help from professors in an online setting has been a challenge. “I feel like it’s harder to get troubleshooting advice when they can’t see what keys you are pressing,” Dolan said 


For senior Ian Olson, a double major in digital media arts and theatre arts, the online setting takes away from what makes theatre so special, the connection with others. “Because so much of theater is inherent on the human connection, it is kind of weird taking theater classes now, and still being connected because now there’s this third kind of wall between us,” Olson said. Not only is the theatre department not able to perform, but other worries loom in the air as well. “How can we train effectively and prepare students for this weird world that no one’s experienced.”


While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted normalcy in the arts and theatre departments, they are finding new ways to express themselves and their creativity. Dolan has had to make adjustments to the kind of art she has been making.”I’ve had to change my practice to more stuff I can do at home, like my sewing machine which is fine for me because a lot of the stuff I do can be done at home” Dolan said. 


While theatre cannot be done from a living room couch, the theatre department is not letting these setbacks stop them. Although this theatre season at Hamline is not typical, the pieces that theatre students have put together are inspiring and touching nonetheless. 

“I feel like this season has been very student-driven,” said Olson. Speaking of a specific performance happening in the near future, Olson stated “it’s super heartfelt and super touching, I feel so strongly about that piece and if we were to be doing a traditional season at Hamline, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.” 

Hamline students are still able to view these performances as well. Everything theatre-related this semester is being recorded, and all performances will be compiled and made accessible on a website that the theatre department is creating. The website will launch on Nov.14 at 9 a.m. and will be found at